Letters to the editor, Oct. 25-27, 2017
Submitted by Park Record readers
October 24, 2017
District should reconsider school fencing
We love living in Park City and have had a wonderful experience with PCSD thus far. However, the proposition to fence-in Trailside, Parley’s and McPolin Elementary Schools is quite alarming.
This comment from Petra Butler in the September 27th’s Park Record appears to be a complete farce: “This isn’t something the school district is going to roll out and say, ‘Ok, this is what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and we don’t want any input.’ We want to work with the community to make sure what we’re doing is acceptable to everyone.”
Our home borders Trailside Elementary and just this morning I saw surveyors planting stakes along the proposed fence line. The community meetings are set for next week and they’re already planting stakes? I'm quickly getting the sense that community input is not being considered.
These institutionalized fences are not what Park City is about. Aside from that, what purpose does a 5′ fence serve? If the areas are "protected" by open-access gates, what is the point? These fences will cut-off open spaces, trails, soccer fields, sledding hills, and so many other things that Parkites cherish. Park City is a progressive town; let’s get creative here. Surely we can do better than a chain-link fence as our leading security option. Let’s consider other options that are more aligned with our Park City values. Perhaps students having access key cards that record comings and goings from school grounds? Or what about purposeful landscaping that serves as a barrier? These examples were offered by the lead surveyor I spoke with this morning that have been successful solutions in other school districts.
Please, Dr. Conley and PCSD Board…do not put up these fences. We are better than this.
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Beerman's climate record is crucial
Two years ago, under Andy Beerman's leadership, a determined group of citizens, a city council and a mayor created one of the world’s most ambitious clean energy goals; transitioning Park City to 100% clean energy by 2022 for the municipality and 2032 for the town. And today, this plan is being implemented and exceeding expectations.
As of 2015, the city has purchased its last diesel bus and have bought 7 zero emission electric busses into the rotation, paid for mostly by a federal grant. An additional 7 zero emission electric buses are scheduled to arrive this Spring. Moreover, the city has been negotiating with Rocky Mountain Power to build new clean energy sources, like solar & wind, and implemented the popular e-bike program.
And the success outside the city limits is even more exciting as Park City leads other counties, cities and states to transition to 100% clean energy, many of which have used Park City's blueprint.
In the beginning of October, Summit County, UT created a goal to be 100% clean energy and so did our neighbors in SLC & Moab who followed very similar plans. Currently, there are over 24 US cities committed to going 100%, 7 US cities already running on 100%, 27 US Cities working on going to 100%, 3 states, and at least 12 countries.
This success story would not have been possible without Andy's commitment to our environment and therefore his commitment to our local economy.
We can not go back. We can not lose our momentum. Park City needs a healthy climate ($650m + in local tourism dollars), and the climate needs Park City leading the way. Andy Beerman becoming Mayor will keep this moving forward.
Bryn & Jackie Carey
Beerman has taken firm action
Readers of the Park Record undoubtedly know that over-development is a real concern in our town. One of the strongest tools we have in the fight against over-development is the Land Management Code. The LMC defines, among other things, the size and scope of all development within Park City. Having applied the LMC as a Planning Commissioner for nearly ten years, and having watched Mr. Beerman review the Planning Commission's decisions in his role as a City Councilperson for the last five, I can say with certainty that he and I share the same views on how the LMC is applied. In short, Mr. Beerman is not "pro-development" or "pro-growth." Instead, he accepts, as we all must, the growth that is inherently allowed under our laws, but nothing more. Moreover, his expansive actions to acquire open space and his firm opposition to converting the Rail Trail into a vehicular access corridor reaffirms that he uses the most powerful tools at his disposal to make sure over-development does not ruin us. For these reasons and many others, I support Andy Beerman for Mayor, and I respectfully ask readers to do the same.
Park City Planning Commissioner
Williams set an important tone
So, I’ve been reading the editorials and comments supporting both candidates. I've never written a letter to the editor, but I read them all diligently. For the first time I feel it's time to weigh in. It appears others are trying to speak for me, telling my why I'm voting for a particular candidate, and they're getting it wrong. I am voting for Dana Williams. Let me be clear. I am not voting for Dana out of nostalgia. Sentimentality is not my political statement. I am not voting for a mascot — I'll take my sports on Sunday, thank you. I am not voting out of friendship, though I do consider Dana a friend, friendship doesn't necessarily get the job done. I am voting for Dana because I have the opportunity to live here and watch how he defined leadership. He set a tone that had not been in play before, and was not maintained when he stepped back. And that tone matters. It's how we realistically get to common ground. And solve problems. And work with and for those who don't have the voice or power to do so. It's not done by name calling, and bitter rebuttals, which is what I am seeing land on these editorial pages. That was never Dana's game, nor Dana’s way. What I knew, and it was proven to me more than once, was that Dana had my back. Before Dana knew my name, he knew my profession — a construction worker, and he responded with respect, not dismissiveness. Sadly, I can't say my experience with other leaders in this community has been the same. I've lived in Old Town for over 30 years, I work construction, I’m an avid newspaper reader, a skier, I keep up with the political landscape, and I vote. It is my deep belief this town needs Dana back.
Beerman is best prepared to guide
I am writing this letter in support of electing Andy Beerman the next mayor of Park City. Having lived in here for almost 40 years and knowing both candidates well over the last 15 years, I see a clear distinction between the directions the two men will take. Both are honest, caring public officials, who have spent the better part of their adult lives selflessly serving the greater Park City community. Our duty is to decide which is best prepared to guide us.
Andy and his family have been successful in operating a local lodging business which interacted with all the local governments, city departments and Main St. business owners until they sold it a few years ago. He has worked well with local city, county and state officials building relationships that have led to a newfound acknowledgement of the contributions that Park City makes to our region. He, as a city councilman, has earned endorsements of the current mayor, council members and works well with the city manager and her staff, which will lead to a continuation of the successful direction our government has taken. He has been an active uniter in building better relations with the school district and the county for future planning purposes. He has been involved in the community’s Latino outreach, college preparatory, mentoring and scholarship effort that has been touted region wide.
Dana served as mayor from 2002 to 2014. He did his best, but many of our current problems, traffic, over building and lack of planning coordination between city, county and state were born during his watch. We can not afford to go backwards. That is not a viable option for our growing town. We need to face these challenges in a coordinated, sensible and cooperative manner. Andy is the best person in my opinion to lead us in that direction.
Beerman has the right character
I'm voting for Andy Beerman for Mayor and here's why.
I believe in term limits. Being a career politician is something we need to get away from at the federal, state and local level. While there are very few offices that have actual term limits, as voters we can address this by not always voting for the incumbent.
Over the last decade I've worked with the city on many issues, from walkability to education. The last four years the city has been much more pleasant and responsive to work with than ever before. Currently, there is a good vibe with the mayor, council and staff; they have been addressing traffic, the environment and our at risk population as never before. They have a long term vision and a plan to get there.
Most importantly, Andy has the character and temperament needed to lead a growing town with complex issues. He's unflappable and doesn't take things personally. He listens and he's a problem solver. He also doesn't want Park City to be an isolated hamlet, he understands we need to get along with the state and build alliances with other cities.
I've worked with Andy on many projects over the years and I hope to continue working with him as he leads our town in the coming years.
Williams deserves respect
Growing up in Park City, I was always so proud to have Dana Williams as my mayor. When it comes to city politics, Dana was the most open, approachable, friendly, and caring person I've ever known. He understood that being mayor means working for the people, not the other way around. I would always see him going out of his way to connect with other Parkites in the community and get the on-the-ground information that is so valuable to a mayor's leadership skills. Dana was also paramount in leading Park City through the winter Olympic Games. He made our experience of the Olympics a priority while showing the utmost hospitality in welcoming the world. Seeing the Olympics in my home town was one of the most pivotal moments in my life to this point, it fueled my love and determination for competing on an international level which lead me to the top of the Olympic podium in the Sochi games. Probably the one thing that hits most closely to home is Dana's inspiring work in protecting open space in Park City. When we were young, we thought every parcel of undeveloped space in town was already protected, and thanks to Dana we've seen thousands of acres go into protected status during his tenure. My love for Park City is deep and I couldn't be more proud to call this place my home. Dana deserves so much respect and recognition for everything he's done for Park City, from leading us through the Olympics to keeping open space protection a top priority. Thank you Dana.
Joyce's fiscal background is key
I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve Joyce on both a personal and professional level for several years. I serve with him on the Citizen's Open Space Advisory Committee (COSAC). He comes to every meeting extremely well prepared, confident and always adds clarity and perspective to discussions. Steve has been involved in all things Park City since his arrival 14 years ago. Because of his deep community experiences he will arrive fully up to speed on all the issues facing our community and will be ready to take a leadership role on City Council from day one.
Park City is growing and branching out in many directions and spending money at a rapidly increasing rate. The taxes and fees created in the past 5 years make living here less affordable for everyone. All of the following seem necessary and important – affordable housing, the Arts and Cultural District, a potential micro transit program, 30% increase in water rates, transit sales tax, Brew Pub Plaza, parking infrastructure, a senior community center, Bonanza Flat bond obligations, a potential school board capital bond, and on and on. Our 2018 operational budget is around $67M and if we add in capital budgets we are over $100M.
Steve is a numbers guy, at IBM and his own company he managed large budgets. We need someone with his financial background to bring a thoughtful approach to Park City's fiscal spending and focus on the community impacts of our financial decisions.
Please join me in voting for Steve Joyce.
Beerman's dedication second to none
I have watched Andy Beerman work for the good of the community for many years and I believe he uniquely combines caring with political effectiveness. Andy's dedication to the citizens of our town is second to none.
While the mayor sets the tone of our city, it's not just about tone. Substance matters and Andy is a person of substance. He approaches problem solving with an entrepreneurial mind-set and is open to new ideas regardless of where they originate. He is a good listener. He communicates well with others. He is generous of spirit. Andy is hard working and energetic and has the experience and expertise to help us face the reality of the changing 21st century.
In every organization, including our own Park City government, co-workers and colleagues know who gets the job done, who they can turn to when there is a problem, who cares the most and who is the true leader. I'm struck by the fact that the entire city council — Liza Simpson, Alex Butwinski, Cindy Matsumoto and Dick Peek — who served with both mayoral candidates enthusiastically support Andy Beerman for mayor. That says a lot. I'm also impressed that our past two mayors, Brad Olch and Jack Thomas, have pledged their support to Andy. That says even more!
I have lived in Park City for 37 years. I truly care about our community. Who we elect as our mayor really, really matters. I believe in Andy. I believe he will be an excellent mayor and I believe he is the right choice for our time. Please vote for Andy Beerman for mayor!
Thanks to EATS PC
I just have to reach out to publicly thank EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School). EATS and Chef Alex from Park City sponsored the last tailgate of the season.
Chef Alex served up what our students called, “the best coleslaw EVER” with pulled pork and chicken.
Our chefs from Park City along with the Student Council made everyone feel welcome. When parents and students from Ridgeline said, “We’re from the other school,” they were welcomed and served.
This is what Park City is all about. It’s about eating awesome things with friends, family, and the community.
Thank you EATS.
Julie Hooker and PCHS Student Council
Park City High School
Williams serves the community
I have known Dana Williams for over 20 years. We worked shoulder to shoulder with other great local people co-founding CARG (Citizens Allied For Responsible Growth). For many years we fought big developers in the city and the county, not as elected officials but as citizen activists. Dana went on to serve as mayor and was a wonderful representative for the people of the city. We did not always agree but he served with heart and humility. He wants to serve again because he believes City Hall has become less about the people in our community and more about the people who run City Hall.
Dana Williams has spoken out about Vail’s failed trademark ordeal, he has spoken out for the Latino community and affordable housing, he has spoken out about the environment, and I believe he speaks from a place of service to this community. That is why I am voting for Dana Williams.
Beerman stands up for Latinos
In a mayoral election that seems to struggle for controversy, I see one crucial issue — how we truly integrate our Latino community into community life and leadership — that is somewhat hidden out of necessity. I want to bring it up and point out that our two candidates have real differences in their approach that voters should consider.
I have personally seen Andy Beerman at work in sensitive and successful efforts to bring Latino community leaders into more influential and active positions through hiring in city government and non-profit entities. Through his city position and membership on regional and state groups, he continues to lobby the state legislature and Sen. Hatch for enlightened approaches to DACA and immigration issues. He works directly with schools and non-profits to bring young Latinos into winter sports and mountain biking communities A key to his approach is the knowledge that fanfare and campaign publicity about these issues ironically creates apprehension among the people he is helping. So, don’t look for flashy events about our Latino neighbors — just continued effective work behind the scenes.
It is not widely known that when Andy was in the resort lodging business for many years, he was an effective advocate and intervener for his Latino employees, and has many long-lasting friendship from that experience. This is the way he operates — as a one-on-one negotiator, crusader, and proponent. The good state of the city is a result of this, and voters should install even more of it.
Momentum would continue with Beerman
As 25-year Parkites with great aspirations for the future of our town, we enthusiastically support Andy Beerman as our next Mayor. Our community values endure as our priorities evolve for Park City — a far different place today for our granddaughter than it was when our three children grew up here. While acknowledging the valuable contribution of our past leaders, Beerman is the Mayor for our future. He is the best person to continue the momentum he has been integral to building on many issues including traffic, open space, energy, affordable housing, inclusiveness, and retaining vibrancy for both our locals and our guests. Importantly, Beerman holds respectful relationships outside our city limits where the broader dynamics of Utah impact our ability to determine our future. We support Beerman's vision for the future of Park City that will benefit from his proactive leadership.
Peter and Kathleen Metcalf
Williams will provide leadership
As our election comes to a close I feel compelled after reading the recent Park Record editorials to lend my support to Dana Williams. Activism is defined as a person who campaigns to bring change. An activist is a leader with passion. Nothing demonstrated the passion that Dana has for our city more than the trademark dispute with Vail. While elected officials sat back Dana took charge. He felt he needed to do that as there was a seemingly lack of leadership in the Marsac building. Nothing was getting accomplished. That is why he is running for Mayor. Things need to get done.
Nine years ago I became a stakeholder in two Main Street businesses. I reached out to Dana as I was upset as a new business owner in town that the Park City name/brand was being used as far away as Jeremy Ranch and other remote locations in Snyderville. He spent time with me and discussed options. In time the city was re-branded Historic Park City. That cooperation and care doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The lack of leadership the city council has shown to our small Main Street business community is amazing. Big issues remain unsolved. Primarily parking. They listen politely then it goes nowhere. I believe Dana is extremely concerned with the growth of our city government and bureaucracy. It’s very difficult to get things done on a timely basis with the city. Our spending levels have grown too much. At some point the people will vote to stop taxing themselves. It’s easy to govern with a big wallet.
In conclusion, I respect Andy as I supported him four years ago. However, I just didn’t see enough progress out of this council, in spite of the claims by the retired political elites who wish to remain relevant. I will vote for Dana.
Frank X. Dwyer
Beerman has the intangibles
I mailed my ballot shortly after it came. Let’s face it, there was no reason to procrastinate. I cast my vote for Andy Beerman to be our next Mayor.
Resumes give us a list of accomplishments and Andy’s are substantial. But to use a sports metaphor they don’t reflect the intangibles. Those intangibles distinguish one player, or in this case candidate, from everyone else.
Andy has those intangibles. Those are demonstrated and witnessed when you work closely with someone. He is approachable, you can call him, email him, or just run into him on the street. He listens, doesn’t interrupt , and then responds thoughtfully. He’s a nice guy. You can’t measure intangibles but you can witness them. I have. I’ve known Andy for seven years. I worked with him on City Council for two of those years and have seen how he can build consensus. He will adjust his own position to incorporate the position of others. I watched him as President of the Historic Park City Alliance. He brought a group of very different Main Street business stakeholders to join together in goals for their common good.
His can do attitude is infectious. He has been a key member of a Council and Mayor who have defined and continued to implement a forward looking vision for our Park City. That vision will continue as we build a complete community with Andy as Mayor.
“Let’s do this thing” is a phrase we use when taking important action. Please join me in marking your ballot for Andy and mail it — today.
Joyce would be responsible spender
I'm a Park City resident and formerly a local business owner. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly challenging to recruit and retain employees. Our increasing cost of living is forcing people to move outside the town limits and our employees found the long, slow commute into Park City from the Salt Lake and Heber valleys to be too painful. I had no choice but to relocate my business outside of Park City. My employees are happier with a shorter commute and more affordable living, but our town lost yet another locally owned business.
I am happy to see the current City Council addressing affordable housing and transit issues. But that is insufficient. We have seen sales tax increases, a property tax increase, big increases in water fees and a new stormwater fee. The county is about to increase its property tax rates and we all anticipate a substantial school bond. Park City is spending its way into a future community of mostly second home owners and nightly rentals. Where does it end? How will Park City ever be affordable for young families and our critical workforce to live in?
Steve Joyce is the only candidate that shares my concerns about Park City's ramp up in spending. Without substantive change, local businesses will always struggle to hire and maintain a work force adequate to deliver the level of service that has made Park City so successful.
Steve Joyce is my choice for City Council and if you care about responsible fiscal spending, I urge you to make him your choice as well.
I-80 wall is preposterous
This is a letter to U-DOT. In a word, the process for deciding on a new wall along I-80 heading Westbound up I-80 is preposterous. Seriously folks, they think the decision should come down to 20 people. If 20 of 24 “affected” homeowners vote yes, then there it is.
Here is a corollary. Lets say there were 500 homes affected by increasing noise at the Salt Lake City airport. Should 375 votes be all that is needed to enact restrictions or put up walls?
For the 24, to say that noise has increased is true. But what did they think when they purchased their homes? Did they assume traffic would abate?
U-DOT — the discussion needs to be much more broad. Your supposed decision making process is flawed and needs to consider a much broader audience. It needs to include more neighborhoods and even the County.
Honestly, this process seems like something 1984 author George Orwell would come up with. And it goes like this. We want to do something. Most people would be opposed. So lets limit the vote to only those we know will say yes. Or maybe it is a symptom of Utah politics at it’s best.
One thing for sure is that the process is flawed and it is up to the citizenry to insist on making it a legitimate one.
Joyce is an excellent choice
I have known Steve Joyce since our days in Leadership, Class 18. Back then, we were part of a group of people who wanted to get more involved in Park City Life. We had a fantastic class, many of whom I still count as friends.
During that year, Steve became a leader for the whole group on our class project. He was easily able to handle the logistics of a complicated project, the management of the many strong personalities of the people involved, and did so with a great sense of humor.
Prior to applying for the Planning Commission myself, I attended meetings regularly for over a year, during the General Plan discussions. I was always impressed by Steve’s deep understanding of issues, and the fact that he really dug down into the weeds to figure out what the short and long term consequences might be.
Now that we serve together on the Planning Commission, I find that he regularly asks questions and sees issues that no one else notices. Steve isn’t just going to wave his hand and say “whatever.” When there is an issue, he is going to ask questions, and expect real, coherent answers.
As a candidate, Steve is asking great questions as well. His background, intelligence, and good nature make him an excellent choice. We would be very sad to lose such a strong voice on the Planning Commission, but the entire town would benefit by his becoming a City Council Member.
Park City Planning Commissioner