Guest opinion: City Hall is on the right track, so don’t upset the apple cart

Joe Kernan
Prospector resident and former Park City Council member

What upsets me is summer smoke, COVID and divisive politics. Like many of you, I know Andy Beerman and Nann Worel as acquaintances, seeing them at events and meetings. In 2011, the City Council interviewed them, appointing Nann to the Planning Commission, and then voters elected Andy to the City Council. We get to interview them for mayor this month! Beyond council meetings, Andy and Nann work hard volunteering as liaisons to almost 20 groups each, with 58 total liaison groups. “Lots of meetings.” LOM! Most of Nann’s are local while Andy’s are local plus regional, statewide or national partner agencies including the congressional delegation, EPA, other Utah cities, mountain ski towns and the Central Wasatch Commission.

Being mayor can be like herding cats with the main problem being no one is in charge of the mayor or council members. Our mayor can’t hire, fire or direct anyone to do anything. We have a city manager and council majority with only some of those powers. Hopefully, the mayor acts as a referee, running productive meetings, helping the council work collaboratively through issues, grievances, and voting on publicly noticed agenda items. Or the mayor can join debates with council members and staff, stirring the pot, creating additional meetings. LOM! The mayor doesn’t get to vote unless there is a tie, so with five voting members, the mayor voting is rare. I spoke to current and past officials at the Miners Day parade and they reported it’s been a united and productive decade. If you are undecided, please speak to council members, city employees and community leaders. The current council has shown confidence in Andy, appointing him to six out of the 11 council liaison committees having voting powers, including to our Fire District. Nann has no voting positions. Currently, Andy has the support of three Park City Council members, while Nann has the support of one other member. It’s not easy being mayor. Ask Dana Williams and Jack Thomas. It can be like politics at Thanksgiving reunions.

For a decade, Andy has fostered Park City Council unity while being an effective ambassador, developing strong relationships with many influential officials, impacting such things as our growth and traffic mitigation struggles, development battles and tax funds returned from Utah and DC. It is uncommon for a small-town Park City official to hold these voting positions and foster such positive relationships. In response to issues raised by David Dobkin’s mayoral campaign and county officials (Roger Armstrong, Glenn Wright and Doug Clyde), voters should know our community leaders are all connected in LOM. Everyone on the council and the mayor represent Park City’s interests on at least one county committee and at least one PCSD committee, with all liaisons attending a total of nine county committees and seven PCSD committees.

Nann is the liaison to Mountain Mediation. Andy, like some past council members, refined his refereeing skills in the food fight meetings of the HPCA, a Main Street business alliance, with plenty of chefs, restaurant, property owners and others confident at throwing turkey legs. The HPCA has been an excellent, but sometimes stressful, training ground for past officials, and perhaps another — Tana Toly in 2022. I’ve been impressed with the councils’ decade of accomplishments, completing deals earlier councils struggled with, specifically the Treasure purchase and the Bonanza Park purchase, known as the arts and culture district. My council included Mayor Dana, Candy Erickson and others bright council members. We developed decent relationships but lacked the timing, trust or unity to get it done. So, I am all in for this council and Andy. Let’s not upset the apple cart with trash talk. Let’s recycle Andy as mayor and Nann on council.

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