Guest opinion: It’s time for change at City Hall |

Guest opinion: It’s time for change at City Hall

Ron Morrill
Old Town

Hope and ideology alone do not equate to a plan. Failure to execute on growth solutions demanded by Park City’s General Plan is proving deeply damaging to our community. Adding insult to injury, the tragedies of this past year made life unsustainable for many Parkites while inviting accelerated growth among the very rich and highlighting the enormous planning, transportation, housing and social issues that have worsened in our little hamlet over the past decade. Not coincidently, Andy Beerman and Tim Henney have served a combined 18 years on the City Council and as mayor during this time.

It’s easy to think we might be better off if only considering the sustainability improvements and open space acquisitions Beerman and Henney want credit for. But when you examine the truth, you realize we are hardly improved in any area of importance to the average Parkite. You also see that our current leadership has no real plans for solutions.

S.R. 248 traffic is predicted to grow at an alarming rate. UDOT had plans to expand 248 with additional lanes potentially designated for buses and HOV travelers, as well as improvements to known chokepoints around Bonanza Drive and Park Avenue. Beerman and Henney rallied the council against the plans and summarily rejected UDOT involvement. UDOT was more than happy to take its $62 million to cities that respect transportation experts. All the while, Beerman and Henney assured us they had a bigger and bolder plan. Today, UDOT is back by their own demand, but with less money and a diminished option — resurfacing and repainting 248 while laughing. And despite traffic and transportation being residents’ top concern, Andy and Tim still have no actual plan to speak of, bold or otherwise.

Beerman’s lone stategy to get cars off the road is simply to remove parking spaces and charge more money for the ones that remain. Together, Beerman and Henney not only made a conscious decision to ignore the future impacts brought by decades-old and approved inner-city density (e.g. the arts and culture district), but they simultaneously refuse to acknowledge the inevitable gridlock along our S.R 224 and S.R. 248 corridors when Kimball Junction and the Jordanelle predictably max out on residential density. Beerman neglected to annex land he was warned Hideout might make a move on, and then he blamed his negligence on Summit County, whose taxpayers ultimately had to foot the legal bill to get us out of an increasing density mess there.

Beerman and Henney led the community effort to bond for Bonanza Flat. Do you know they did this without regional support and future jurisdictional control? Not only did Beerman fail to negotiate on the purchase price of Bonanza Flat, he and Henney also failed to plan for the 3,000-plus cars a day that now use this “preservation” easement. Wasatch County officials, our most important regional partners, are furious with Park City’s unmitigated mess at Guardsman Pass.

Beerman and Henney have given rise to other shiny goals ultimately dulled by their lack of planning. The arts district is one with its false promises made to Sundance, a bloated budget and inadequate plans that offer no real solutions to our traffic and housing woes. Another example is our affordable housing goal, one they are content to suddenly fall well short of simply to save the arts district. And yet another is the soils repository which might only still be shining because of the untested and unmitigated dust flying everywhere from Bonanza to Quinn’s.

We need leaders who don’t alienate our regional partners while eschewing the advice of experts and compromising community goals/progress to save their own failed agendas. We need to humbly thank Teri Orr for singlehandedly negotiating the opportunity to preserve Treasure Hill, not these two.

And we Parkites need to vote in change!


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