Letters, Jan. 26-28: It’s taken a village to raise children during the pandemic
It’s taken a village during pandemic
The last two years have been extremely challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to Park City School District Superintendent Dr. Gildea, the district office and the school board for all the extra time and effort that you have contributed to allow our students to attend in-person school. I appreciate the detailed plan that the district has researched and updated as new information has become available.
Unfortunately, the challenges of isolation, loneliness and lack of connection will be with us even after this pandemic ends. Live school with daily interaction between students, teachers and support staff outweighs the risks of further isolation related to virtual schooling. I have deep respect, admiration and appreciation for the teachers and staff who teach and care for our children. They teach our children skills and knowledge that allow them to flourish during these important years of their young lives. Thank you so very much to teachers, principals and staff for the extra effort during these difficult times.
It takes a village to raise children, and I am so very thankful to be part of this community with such an amazing and hard-working school district. We are in the middle of a winter season with all sorts of respiratory viruses, including flu, RSV, parainfluenza, adenovirus and the SARS-CoV2 virus. Mask up!
Now is the time for doing
Last week the four sitting members of the Park City Council concluded a very difficult decision process with the appointment of Ryan Dickey to the seat vacated by Nann Worel. I wish Ryan much success in his new role, as Park City will be better for it. The council deliberated at length after the final interview on Jan. 7 and we should all be thankful for the thorough and publicly open process they conducted. I would also like to specifically thank the council members who expressed support for my application and qualifications. I am disappointed personally in the short-term result but the words of encouragement will not go unheeded. I am optimistic not simply for my future, but rather for the future of Park City.
We now have a fully seated council that will set out to address many issues. We must be proactive and meet the issues head on. Our elected and appointed representatives will need our support. In keeping with that spirit I will reach out to each City Council member and Mayor Worel to assist in whatever way that I can. I will work tirelessly for all Parkites on the issues that currently negatively impact our quality of life. One theme I heard from the City Council with regards to my application was that I am relatively new to town. While there are many of us that share that same status, I know there are many more that have been here longer. I understand that. I too grew up in a place where we would say the same things about people new to town. My high school trigonometry teacher has a saying that I still carry with me to this day. It went, “Talk is cheap, doing is doing.” Now is the time for doing and that is what I intend to do.
My interview session with the City Council can be found on the meeting archives site for Jan. 7. It begins at the 1 hour and 9 minute mark. I encourage all to listen to it, and understand my passion for Park City: parkcity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=2543&meta_id=51627.
William “Bill” Ciraco
Shameful disregard for public health
Shame on Rep. Mike Kohler and Rep. Kera Birkeland — neither of whom lives in Summit County — for voting to strike down the mask mandate adopted by Summit County. They are responsible for representing the interests of their Summit County constituents, but because of blatant partisan gerrymandering by the Republican-dominated Legislature they don’t have to worry about being defeated for reelection as a result of their callous disregard for our county’s public health.
Probably because they don’t live in Summit County, Rep. Birkeland and Rep. Kohler seem oblivious to the heightened risk of exposure to COVID that Summit County residents face from the out-of-state tourists who have been flocking here during ski season. As Summit County residents, we are both proud of and thankful for the leadership shown during the two years of the COVID pandemic by Summit County Health Director Phil Bondurant and his predecessor Rich Bullough; County Manager Tom Fisher; and the Summit County Council because they have relied on both data and science rather than partisan ideology. As a result, we trust them.
Republicans are supposed to respect the decisions of local government officials who are closest to the people, but apparently that was yesterday’s ideology. We would say that banning the Summit County mask mandate — and without a public hearing to boot — destroyed our last ounce of faith in the Legislature except that that had already happened with the redistricting travesty.
Ed and Lynne Rutan
Saddle up for the Snyderville Basin
With Summit County losing its agriculture feel and working farms, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Snyderville Basin equestrian arena located at Highland flats?
It has been commented that this area isn’t attractive for housing, but an arena, trails and round pens for training would bring back the rural feel that Snyderville is losing.
The developers purchased that land for pennies and it would be a wonderful contribution (and tax deduction) for it to be donated to the county.
Park City has the potential for Olympic equestrians and they would greatly benefit from having a place to train.
Students stepped up
Upon reading the Park Record on Saturday about the students protesting the ending of the mask mandate by the Legislature, I felt such pride. I applaud these very enlightened and brave young people. It would be easier to say nothing and just continue on. These young people should be embraced and supported for trying to keep everyone protected and to learn while feeling safe. I assume many of these young people will turn 18 soon, allowing them to vote in the next election. I encourage them to put together a list of all the representatives that chose to disregard the safety of the residents of Summit County for their own political gain. When it is time to vote, we as citizens can be reminded of who doesn’t care about us. Thank you, young people of Summit County for doing your part.
Power of the youth on display
We no longer reside in Park City, however we keep in touch with our friends who help to keep the pulse of Park City alive and relevant. It was uplifting to read about the young adults of Park City High School who felt strongly to speak out about a subject that is so important to all of us. I applaud their conviction and bravery not only to support the mask mandate but also to express support for their teachers and the importance of voter registration. Power to the youth of Park City and of this world!
Even columnists must embrace change
I have read yet another column by Amy Roberts in the Jan. 19-21 issue of The Park Record. With all due respect, her articles are a waste of paper. She offers nothing constructive along with her repetitive complaints about Park City. You can all reminisce about the good old days or you can embrace change and make the best of it. Visitors to this town bring revenue, and with that, more jobs and better pay for full-time employees.
I was always very surprised by how bitterly the locals felt about the Sundance Film Festival (even second-homeowners that were not full time). Sundance was only a couple of weeks, yet it brought a great deal of revenue to this community. Now that they have withdrawn for the second year in a row, many individuals are bitter about that. Recent articles that I have read comment on what a “financial hit” this will be for Park City.
If Amy Roberts is entitled to her soapbox, then I do believe it is The Park Record’s responsibility to allow a voice for those in favor of responsible growth, expansion and business development.
This is how our system works
Last Friday, the Utah Legislature voted on a bill that affects our daily lives — not an appointed individual in a position of power, but the lawmakers we elected through the voting process. It doesn’t really matter the outcome — this is how our government is supposed to operate. Our own representatives voted “yes” to override the mask mandate. For those unhappy with the results, you are free to vote for someone different to represent Park City. That is what makes our nation so great.
I would like to acknowledge the Park City High School students who demonstrated their First Amendment rights last week. Whether or not I support their stance is irrelevant. As a 16-plus-year service member of the armed forces, I fully support their right to do it. What they did takes a lot of courage, and I applaud their efforts.
For those that participated in the walkout — S.J.R. 3 does not take away your liberty or leave you “completely defenseless against COVID.” Quite the opposite. The bill enhances your ability to make your own choices as individuals in this community. You are still allowed to wear a mask, distance yourself from others or get a vaccine. You can choose who you want to be around or decide to stay at home. School is still as safe now as it was in the fall. In contrast to the mask mandate, no one is telling you what you have to do.
You are now free to critically think and make your own decisions to do what is best for you and your family. That is the lesson to be learned — you are seeing the difference between leaders mandating something and leaders limiting their own legal authority to mandate something.
A fight for our way of life
We all have that flaky friend. You know, the one who promises to be at your house at 6 o’clock but rolls in around 7:30, or worse, cancels altogether at the last minute.
I’ve been thinking about this, because recently, a whole lot of us in the community got stood up. On Jan. 19, there was a Planning Commission meeting scheduled to discuss the proposed development at PCMR; however, the developer wasn’t ready, asked for a continuance and canceled the meeting. Leaving the community with a wasted evening, and for me, thinking about the implications and fallout from broken commitments and promises.
The Land Management Code and ordinances of Park City are not just any old promises. The code is not comprised of arbitrary regulations and criteria. It contains guarantees to the community at large that there are rules we will all be required to follow. The members of our community, in good faith, have invested in the community under the umbrella of these promises.
The PCMR proposal PEG Companies has placed on the table blows through our zoning ordinances as if these promises don’t exist. What makes Vail Resorts and PEG think this city can be manipulated into not following its own code?
When we ask the Planning Commission and the City Council to honor the promises made to our community, there is so much more at stake than a wasted evening. The ramifications we all face if PEG is granted multiple excessive exceptions to overstep our zoning ordinances will be grave and lasting. Not only does it not make sense to break the promises contained in the Land Management Code, doing so will forever shatter our trust as residents of this community in our governing bodies.
The citizens of Park City are speaking load and clear. We want a project that benefits not just Vail Resorts and the developer but our very special and unique town as well. We are fighting for what we all invested in, our way of life, and the continued promise of that way of life.
So yeah, see you at 6. I’ll bring the hors d’oeuvres.
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