County’s future is in your hands
If there is any doubt about the importance of the upcoming county and state elections, take a closer look at The Park Record’s front page today. Within the next few years, several watershed decisions by local elected officials will define our community’s future.
Imagine a road or tunnel connecting Park City with Big Cottonwood Canyon. Proponents of the plan suggest that a direct connection between the resorts on the Wasatch Front and Back would be a huge marketing coup for Utah’s tourism industry. But a year-round road over Guardsman Pass to Salt Lake City would likely also increase pressure to turn the backcountry into a suburban haven for commuters. The proposal is still just a "talking point" on the governor’s agenda, but it is on the radar screen and could have enormous effects, both positive and negative, on local businesses and neighborhoods.
Or, try to visualize the undeveloped acreage between the Utah Olympic Park and Kimball Junction filled with hundreds of new homes and thousands of additional square feet of commercial space. The 410-acre parcel owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being quietly shopped around to developers and could double the traffic at the already congested intersection of Interstate 80 and State Road 224.
When someone decides to develop the church’s parcel, how much and what is built there will likely be up to those who win on Nov. 7.
It is not possible to overestimate the importance of next month’s vote. In addition to electing a swing seat on the current three-person Summit County Commission, voters will decide whether to expand that panel to five people and hire a professional county manager.
Snyderville Basin residents will also vote on a recreation bond and Park City voters will be asked whether they are willing to increase their property taxes to buy more open space.
Additionally, voters will choose a sheriff, clerk and state and congressional representatives all important posts with agendas that have the potential to impact Summit County schools, businesses, taxes and social services.
The Park Record wants to ensure that residents are informed about the choices they will be asked to make on this year’s ballot. Saturday the paper will begin running a series of candidate responses to questions about some of the most controversial issues of the day. We will also begin a series of stories devoted to Proposition 1, the proposal to change the county commission to a five-member council.
We would also like to make sure that as many people as possible turn out to vote from all corners of the county, and that no one who is eligible to vote is turned away from the polls because he or she did not register.
So here are some important dates to remember: Satellite registration for those who are voting for the first time or who recently moved will take place Oct. 20 and 23 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the following locations: the County Services Building 110 So. Main in Kamas, the Marsac Building, 445 Marsac Ave. in Park City and the Summit County Courthouse, 60 No. Main St. in Coalville.
For those who are already registered but may not be available to vote Nov. 7, early voting will be available from Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 30 Nov. 3 at the Courthouse, 60 North Main St., Coalville, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Election Day is Nov. 7 and the polls throughout the county will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Don’t sit this one out.
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“Where will we get the water, sewage treatment, police, fire, city services, broadband capacity and green power? How will we stop the gridlock that will result from all this expansion?” asks Victor Janulaitis.