Guest opinion: Lessons learned on the campaign trail |

Guest opinion: Lessons learned on the campaign trail

John Greenfield
Former Park City Council candidate

It is a wild thing, participating in a small-town election like ours. I was invited into homes, chased off porches, slapped high-fives, attacked by dogs, offered mezcal, and had my signs stolen. I even got trolled once. Along the way I became an amateur expert on Class 1 solid waste facilities (AKA “soil repositories”), read a great book by “Ye Official Old Guy” Gary Kimball, and met with a number of PCMC professionals who ran me through incredible tutorials of their departments. I also tried my best to respond to random questions from the citizenry about COVID-19 vaccination science, critical-race theory, and the FEMA flood map. Ultimately, I missed out on joining the general election by a mere 30 votes. I think wild is a great word to use here.

I certainly learned some lessons along the way. I learned matters in this town can be incredibly personal. Grudges from a bar fight 40 years ago, an election four years ago or a conversation four months ago are carried through today and tomorrow. In so many ways, institutional conflicts have shaped Park City’s history: the expropriation of Indiginous People’s land, the U.S. Army vs. the LDS church, mining strikes, government raids, EPA vs. UPCM, Powder Corp. vs. Vail Resorts vs. Alterra Mountain Company vs. MIDA. There are a number of monied families and interests that have been in place here for a long time, in contrast to some that have taken recent residence and assumed influence. People have always worked hard here. Since the late 1800s there have been two parades each year, and the beer has flowed cold and steady down Main Street. People from across Utah and the world come up here to take it all in, often to pretend for just one minute that they live here too.

To exist in Park City is to be a part of a unique and living history. I think that sort of perspective is quite natural for many of us who spend our lives in the Mountain West. We like barn wood, tacky dirt and ugly horses. We place value in old buildings, old recipes and old folks. It’s not about doing things the way they’ve always been done; it’s about thriving in what the past has given us while also preserving historical access for future generations. That’s exactly why the opening of the Spiro Tunnel recently was so cool.

When considering who to cast my vote for in this municipal election, these personal reflections are my lens. No candidate appears to share wildly different opinions about the issues in Park City than another. Thus, issues aren’t exactly at the forefront here. Neither are sentimental attachments to past community achievements. This election is about the future.

I am voting for Nann Worel for mayor because I think Nann is the best candidate to be able to navigate the personal and historical conflicts in Park City and the region in the next four years. A better future for Park City depends on this capability. It is that simple.

I am voting for Tana Toly because Tana is quite literally a part of the aforementioned living history and she knows it. Tana moves as a self-motivated steward for those memories and the people they are tied to, and I respect those efforts immensely.

I am voting for Jeremy Rubell because Jeremy’s smarts, temperament and decency are all one package. What you see is what you get, and I find value in having a person of his character on the council.

Cheers to all of the candidates. And, thank you to my supporters.


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