Letters: Summit County voters must pay attention to Statehouse races
Voters must step up
I would like to respond to David A. Edmunds’ letter to the editor published June 12, which asserts, “Summit County’s electorate has long been among the most sophisticated in Utah. Voters here understand that local government(s), and its policies, have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.” If city and county politics matter to the people of this county in terms of our sophistication, then state politics should matter to us also. Our state Legislature vastly impacts what our city and county governments have the power to do — and frequently, though the heavily Republican Legislature espouses “local control,” they enact legislation that does just the opposite and takes our local control away (see: COVID-19, criminal justice reform, environmental laws, etc.).
I hear time and time again that people in Summit County think that only Democrats are elected here. Did you know that Summit County has only one Democrat of five total state representatives in the Utah House and Utah Senate? That Democrat is Rep. Brian King of Salt Lake City, and he represents a mere 6% of the voting age population of Summit County, in Summit Park and a small portion of Pinebrook. Summit County’s voting residents could do a lot more to support our state-level candidates if they want to be called “sophisticated.”
There are three open seats at the state Legislature that have three very qualified Democrat candidates to represent Summit County: Meaghan Miller, state House District 54 (who lost by a mere 162 votes in her race in 2018), Katy Owens, Senate District 19, and Cheryl Butler, state House District 53. It’s up to all of us who want a voice in the Utah Legislature to ensure that these candidates get the support they need through both volunteering and donating. For the voters of Summit County who would like to see some true local representation at the state level — what are you going to do to change that in 2020?
Summit County Democratic Party chair of fundraising and communications
Actions were necessary
I can’t agree with Amy Roberts’ statement that the protests in Lafayette Square, which is across from the White House, were peaceful. News reports that I have seen say that dozens of law enforcement officers were injured by thrown projectiles, and that this violent behavior led to the decision to move the protesters a block away. The U.S. Park Police officials claim to have used pepper balls, not tear gas, to disperse the crowd when they refused to follow the instructions that they move. The violent behavior that included the fire attack on St. John’s Church across the Square from the White House probably contributed to the concerns about the safety of the White House and the need to provide additional protection there. I lived in and around Washington, D.C., for many years, and the efforts to provide protection to government officials, diplomats and employees are extensive and often are intrusive. Streets are frequently blocked for official caravans, and public spaces are cordoned off for a variety of reasons. While in the service I was stationed in D.C. in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson had the military protect the U.S. Capitol Building after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. That terrible event resulted in riots and looting that destroyed parts of Washington. Sometimes the U.S. Secret Service acts in ways that seem excessive in their efforts to protect the president, such as shutting down part of LAX airport so Bill Clinton could have a haircut by Christophe on Air Force One. But I would rather have the Secret Service act cautiously, even if it results in inconvenience for many, because the consequences of presidential assassinations and attempted assassinations have been so damaging to our country. The consequences of another presidential assassination would be felt for years and would undermine the already-fraying social fabric of our nation. For that reason it has been my constant prayer since the election of Barack Obama for his safety, and now for the safety of Donald Trump.
F. Joseph Feely III
We need Harte’s leadership
We hear today about essential workers. Our thriving Summit County now requires essential government officials. Good leadership is imperative as we elect public servants who are dedicated, experienced, focused and proportioned in their judgment. Canice Harte is such a person.
Canice brings a diverse background to the table as a father, former business owner, nonprofit employee, Marine Corps veteran and a person who can empathize with the underserved. His seven years of work with the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission is assurance of his deep understanding of the issues confronting Summit County. Canice is a thoughtful advocate for moderate and planned development, improved traffic and transportation and affordable housing.
As an assistant governor of Utah Rotary District 5420, Canice has excelled in mentoring and leading local and statewide Rotarians. The ethos of “Service Above Self” is a natural fit for this candidate who has continually reached out to those in need in the community.
Please join us in supporting and voting for Canice Harte for Summit County Council.
Karen and Jeff Nielsen
Harte embodies service
I’ve known Canice Harte for a decade. His older daughter and my younger son have attended school together for most of that time. Additionally, my husband Jeff and I have enjoyed professional interactions with Canice and his spouse Katy. Our family benefits, directly and indirectly, from his commitment to the community. You may have benefited from his volunteer work without realizing it.
A Marine veteran, Canice embodies a commitment to service, both as a member of Park City Rotary, and in his seven-plus years of service as a Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner. His passion for long-distance running offers context to his skills. The adage, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” inspires a certain amount of patience. Canice takes an even longer view. He’s completed six 100-mile races, and then some. He values the journey — learning from the community around him — as much as the result. In all of these capacities, he knows when to push, and when to listen and gather resources or consensus.
As a candidate and if he is elected, Canice brings unique experience and perspective. In both cases, he’s the only one who has worked for a local nonprofit and the only one who has launched two small businesses. Canice’s perspective will be much-needed as our county prioritizes economic recovery. He’s the only one with children in the public schools. I have served on school community councils at JRES, EHMS and continue to serve at PCHS. I know his view of how community issues impact families; the insights he can share will be valuable.
Importantly, Canice grew up in affordable housing. He knows its value in a healthy community, in having our workforce, our essential services workers, and our educators to live and work within the community they serve. He understands the need for age-in-place options in the county. Creating better affordable options requires some ingenuity; he will work to create those opportunities.
Canice Harte will have our votes for County Council. I encourage you to vote for him.
Bari Nan Rothchild
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Christopher Smart writes in a guest editorial that, until police reform happens in Utah, young men will continue to be ripped away from their families.