Guest editorial: Roger Armstrong is the best mayoral option
A hearty endorsement for mayoral candidate Roger Armstrong
August 11, 2017
I have lived on and off in Park City since 2006, returning full time in 2016 to become deeply invested in our community and co-found the civic engagement initiative ‘Future Park City.’
I am disappointed that some of Park City's millennials and self-proclaimed "old timers" are spreading a revisionist version of a history they have either not researched or have forgotten, naively thinking the way to preserve our small-town feel is by electing the person who feels the most familiar.
The truth of the matter is that years of short-sighted, reactionary governance landed us the biggest problems (including nightly rentals and the result of failed Treasure Hill negotiations) we face today. If Park City's proudest locals think reliving the past is the best course for our future, understand that leadership without a foundation of research, vision and hardcore negotiation skills will bring more dizzying and disastrous changes in the next two years than the community has seen in the last two decades.
There is a complexity to our very sophisticated 2017 problems that requires high-level skills and 3017 sort of vision. We need someone who understands that the Mayor's job is about much more than "setting the tone" for our community — someone capable of identifying issues before they're on our doorstep.
More ad hoc response to the oft self-serving and misaligned will of the countless stakeholder groups we have in Park City will only make us more susceptible to takeover by large corporations, mega developers and outsiders whose only intention for town is to exploit it for their own financial gain.
At the same time, while there is something to be said for the continuity in Council some currently employed by the City are advocating for, there are also the dangerous effects of groupthink when everyone is speeding toward predetermined outcomes (admittedly sometimes the very ones I'm fighting hardest for), but failing to ask the hardest questions of themselves along the way.
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What I want in a Mayor is someone so knowledgeable in energy, technology, trademarks, law, other governments, existing policies and creative alternatives, that he (and someday SHE!) is forcing critical conversations and unrelenting analysis at every turn. Someone who questions every route right up until the finish line and isn't afraid to pump the brakes no matter how fast the train seems to be speeding from the station. I want someone who is going to negotiate HARD and not let Vail call itself "Park City" on local signage or let our residents overpay for land the City is acquiring for open space or affordable housing.
Roger Armstrong is unequivocally the best candidate for Park City Mayor. He is a remarkably stand up leader who has accomplished much at the County level and also on matters of trademark and transportation in Park City without ever seeking credit. He is always asking the hard questions and exploring all alternatives.
I expect he will continue the good Council relations Andy is proud of and that they will together advance Park City initiatives and the improved County collaboration we have seen in the last couple years. As Councilor, Andy can continue the coalition building he is engaged in across the state. And Dana, having served the City with heart for three terms, can evolve as a more focused activist.
With this lineup, I have real hope for the long-term future of Park City as a small town with a more stable economy, less socio-economic disparity, reduced traffic and waste, more viable live/work opportunities for future generations and the ability to control our own destiny and growth.
Time has a way of blurring the past, and Kool Aid has a way of making everyone feel good. It is time we turn a fresh and critical eye toward our future and elect Roger Armstrong for Mayor.