Letters, Oct. 20-22: Readers keyed into Park City election
Commit to equity and inclusion
Supporting equity and inclusion for me means doing so even when it’s unpopular.
I have never been prouder of my community than when the words “Black Lives Matter” appeared artfully on Main Street. The four murals represented a show of support to women, queer communities, immigrants, and BIPOC folks everywhere. Conversely, I experienced sorrow when the murals were vandalized, and gray paint covered the word “Black” and the women’s rights symbol. I was saddened when the opportunity for community dialogue about needed social change was instead mired in criticism of process or one of the artist’s racial identity. It was painful to hear community members focus on these criticisms instead of the real issue at hand: Black Americans have a disparate experience when encountering police officers — they are more than 2.5 times likelier to be killed than white Americans.
Noted scholar Dr. Kendi teaches us that we should practice examining the outcomes of an action or policy to help define racism vs antiracism. In this case, the outcome was that many spoke out against the project, and few defended it. Even elected officials turned support to criticism. We now understand through our learnings that this is a textbook and frequent example of discomfort against a social movement that challenges the status quo. I understand how the words “Black Lives Matter” could have a political connotation for some, yet it should not overshadow the positive impact this message can have.
At times I have struggled to find a place where I fit in and belong, and I know this experience is not uncommon for many folks of color living in Park City. I feel a deep sense of appreciation for all the stakeholders in the project and to those who subsequently stood up for its meaning. For me, it explicitly stated communities of color are welcome. In an era when the former presidential administration had created a climate hostile to immigrants and BIPOC folks, it was becoming increasingly difficult to tell where those safe harbors were. The murals made me feel seen, and our existing leadership’s commitment to equity continues to do so.
Community empowers students
It is that time of year again when our local nonprofits are recognized and highlighted during Live PC Give PC. We have been fortunate enough to have many tremendous and generous donors here in Park City who have helped us raise money to support our local Park City students, young adults struggling with dyslexia. Over the past seven years we have awarded over $100,000 to Utah and Park City students. Your gifts are helping these young adults receive much needed tutoring, testing, accommodations, resources, tuition and mentoring support, which can make the difference between success and failure. Here is a testimonial from one of our awardee’s moms, Amanda:
“You all are doing amazing work! More so than just monetary, your mentor program has been extremely helpful to my son already after just starting college this semester. We are so thankful to the JJMLF family for the impact you make in the lives of kids living with dyslexia!”
To all our donors including Beano Solomon, The Promontory Foundation, and The Sorenson Legacy Foundation, you have helped us create a “family” for these students. The awards create a sense of hope and belief in their struggles but even more so in their potential. Your generous support builds students’ self-esteem and confidence, as well as restores the dream of being worthy and deserving of an education. It empowers them!
Our mission is to honor Joseph’s spirit. Through the awarding of scholarships, we recognize students, who, like Joseph, struggle with dyslexia, and empower them to believe in themselves.
Thank you to Park City for believing in our mission and supporting the Park City community.
Barbara Wirostko Morelli
Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation president and executive director
Deliver the facilities our children deserve
Our local students need your “Yes” vote on the general obligation bond, a key source of financing needed to enhance the quality of education at our district towards the expansion to our high school, middle school, preschool and CTE services. The needs within this bond have been defined by feedback provided from numerous community members over several years. Our elected school board members listened and have worked with experts to develop a master plan that is fiscally responsible while at the same time defining the future for Park City School District.
Funding of the bond will bring ninth-grade students into the high school for a true high school experience and will reduce the commute between the high school and Treasure Mountain Junior High for many ninth-grade students. It will also expand Ecker Hill Middle School to include eighth grade for an additional year, eliminating the transition for this vulnerable age group. In addition, the bond will expand preschool services at the elementary schools. There are currently 150 children on the waitlist for our youngest learners in the district. While many of our local families may not be in need of this service, it is critical to the frontline workers who need the child care so they can keep the doors open to our local restaurants, resorts and other local businesses. Finally, the bond would expand upon the CTE (Career Technical Services) program for our middle school and high school students, which not only increases graduation rates, but provides real-world job skills when entering the job market.
As parents, we recognize the eighth- and ninth-grade years are often the most difficult years for our students and yet they are currently at Treasure Mountain Junior High, the most challenged school site in the district with major safety concerns.
As a parent of Park City High School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School students, I ask you to support this bond to support the necessary changes to provide the state of the art facilities our children deserve.
For more information visit friendsofparkcityeducation.com.
Beerman will lead us forward
As a former three-term mayor of Park City, from 1990-2002, I am endorsing Mayor Andy Beerman’s reelection. I am intimately familiar with the energy and vision needed to propel Park City into the future. During my tenure as mayor, I realized the need to champion open space, the Olympics, regional and statewide cooperation and a host of many other priorities. It took fortitude and a great deal of patience and diplomacy as we advanced Park City’s interests when many in Utah were politically and/or emotionally unprepared to understand our community’s unique needs.
Watching Andy over the past four years has impressed me with the talents he has brought to this difficult position of representing our city. He has clearly understood that making difficult and often contentious decisions is not always a popularity contest. There are those who disagree and there are some who are disagreeable. If we are afraid to support positions and make decisions progress will be limited. I have watched Andy negotiate difficult situations with kindness and understanding. He has been engaged and creative in his leadership approach and has worked with energy and diligence to push Park City along the path of greatness.
Park City is once again at a crossroads. We are a product of our success and the growth and challenges that come with that. Some of those challenges have not changed since I was mayor. Park City needs someone with the experience and a broad knowledge base. We need Andy’s ability to get the right things done and accomplished for the right reasons. We need Andy’s focus on climate change, on our locals and their neighborhoods, on social equity and our amazing resort economy. Andy to my mind is unquestionably the mayor to lead us forward and that is why I am supporting Andy for reelection.
Bradley A. Olch
Former Park City mayor
Beerman is a regional leader
As elected leaders who work closely with Park City Mayor Andy Beerman, we strongly disagree with the claims of some Summit County Council members that the mayor is an “isolationist” who shuns collaboration (Guest editorial, Oct. 2-5 edition, by Roger Armstrong, Doug Clyde and Glenn Wright).
In our view, nothing could be further from the truth.
Mayor Andy understands what it takes to collaborate authentically, and to get things done in the face of increasing divisiveness and complexity. In working together on the issues that affect us as a region, Mayor Andy steps up by listening deeply, understanding and empathizing with our challenges, building positive relationships and engendering trust.
In projects ranging from regional planning, public transportation, open space protection, climate change, inequality and housing, Mayor Andy has been an invaluable partner. His public service outside Park City underscores his willingness and ability to work across multiple aisles and jurisdictions.
Andy is an active member on multiple statewide boards and regional governance organizations — including the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Summit County Council of Governments, the Wasatch County Council of Governments, Utah Quality Growth Commission and the Central Wasatch Commission. Recently, he was selected by his peers to co-chair the Host-Venue Communities Committee for the next Olympic bid.
This public service and engagement agenda is hardly that of an “isolationist.”
Instead, it is the embodiment of “collaborative governance” — an approach to leadership that involves government, community and the private and nonprofit sectors working together to achieve more than any one of those sectors could achieve on their own. For Mayor Andy, this approach to governing is intuitive.
Successful collaboration requires that people commit to working together, despite their differences. It requires give and take, patience, trust and respect, and a belief that achieving our mutual goals and interests is possible.
We also know well that there are those who are unable or unwilling to collaborate authentically or budge from their strongly held viewpoint. Any disagreement with that viewpoint is met with anger, frustration or claims of “non-collaboration” by others.
Fortunately for us, and for Park City, that is not Mayor Andy’s style. We’re “all in” for Andy.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall (Salt Lake City), Mayor Mike Caldwell (Ogden), Mayor Jenny Wilson and Councilman Jim Bradley (Salt Lake County), Mayor Emily Niehaus (Moab), Mayor Mike Peterson (Cottonwood Heights), and Councilman Mike Mendenhall (Spanish Fork)
Clear choices in this election
This is an important election and we have a clear choice. Nann Worel for mayor, and Tana Toly and Jeremy Rubell for City Council are the best choices.
Nann Worel will be Park City’s first female mayor and she is an amazing person. Her military background, leadership in health care, nonprofits and public service make her extremely qualified.
Tana Toly is a seventh-generation Parkite and, with her family, runs the oldest business in Park City. She is extremely active in the community, sits on many boards and brings both historical and forward-thinking perspectives to the city.
Jeremy Rubell delivers many skills to the City Council, having been a global strategic business consultant. He knows how to ask good questions, listen to all perspectives and make decisions based on what he knows, what he hears and what he learns.
All three of these candidates are good listeners, have the right temperament and will restore civility and openness to City Hall. They all get my vote!
Toly is a leader
In 2016 our tech company hired Tana Toly as director of account management. In the travel tech industry she was known for her ability to quickly discover operational flaws and implement cost-saving solutions. She had uncovered costly operations errors and saved companies thousands of dollars. It’s not often that you find someone who can excel in many different facets of a company, but Tana is that person.
Tana has excelled in director roles throughout her career in sales, account management, operations and business development. She has never known a challenge she couldn’t overcome. At our company she started by developing our accounts team and after seven months her skills were directed to operations. As the senior director of operations, Tana simultaneously managed four remote teams worldwide, innovated with developers, managed relationships with our key partners and created a project management team to onboard clients.
In 2017, our company was on the verge of losing our most significant partnership, an industry powerhouse; I knew the solution was to fly Tana to meet their management team. Not only did she save the relationship, she was able to streamline their account and within three months they were our highest-grossing partnership. When Tana was in the room everyone worked harder creating an environment of optimism, positivity and enthusiasm.
After leaving Tech World to run her family’s business, I knew it wouldn’t be long before she would look for a way to be involved in the community and bring people together to solve problems. In the workplace, she was able to engage and connect all our diverse departments from around the world.
I am not able to vote in your election, but if I were creating an ideal executive business team, Tana would be my choice!
A world of difference for our schools
I am a local grandparent with grandchildren in the Park City public schools. From my more than 50 years involved in education at the local, state and national levels, the district’s bond request has been thoughtfully designed and enables the district to provide a 21st century education to students and resources to staff. The bond has been developed after numerous outreach efforts, meetings, and surveys to obtain local opinions on what needs to be done. The end result is a plan that improves the educational experience, learning environments and access to resources for learners, faculty and community members in the Park City School District.
From my perspective the school board has learned several lessons from the mistakes made during the last bond campaign. Gone are several of the changes proposed that brought opposition and defeated that bond. The district is asking for your support to add pre-k to all elementary schools; provide wraparound services at McPolin and Jeremy Ranch elementary schools; and grade realignment by adding eighth grade to Ecker and ninth grade to the high school. This requires additions to all schools to address any increases in student enrollment from pre-k and through 12th grade, and added services.
Also, this bond will enable the district to make design changes to meet the needs of 21st century learners and school staff. If we are to continue to be the best school district in the state, passing this bond is imperative. Park City would be setting an example of what can be done to meet its educational needs, provide related services and be a resource for the community. First, adding pre-k helps children get a jump start which will pay dividends immediately. Second, add a library to the high school. Third, provide wraparound services in two schools. It is a cutting-edge approach to offer services locally that may include medical, dental, employment, social security, after school, counseling, tutoring, adult education and others depending on need and demand. This enables Park City to say “our schools are centers of the community.”
For these reasons, I support the bond and ask those who live and vote in the school district to vote yes for the bond.
It will make a world of difference for our students and school staff. The bond helps continue to keep the Park City schools the best in the state.
Vote “yes” for the bond.
Toly and Worel have earned my vote
I have never publicly supported a candidate in the past, but I am proud to say I am voting for both female candidates in the upcoming election.
I have known Tana Toly since she was born and watching her grow into a beautiful, intelligent, caring woman full of compassion has been an absolute joy. I have had the privilege of serving alongside Tana as the president of the Main Street Business Alliance with her as the vice president. I have seen her in action, and she is the true boots on the ground, living firsthand through a lot of challenges that the city is facing. She was the one to push me to embody my roll as president more fully, encouraging me to visit with the Main Street businesses individually to really find out what the concerns were and how we were best positioned to address them.
While I haven’t known Nann Worel since she was born (it’s only been about 10 years), I have presented to the City Council on many occasions and have witnessed firsthand Nann’s ability to consider public input. Her responses are often “I didn’t consider that or look at it that way, thank you for bringing a new perspective.” Nann always ensured I feel heard, and it has encouraged me to stay involved.
Both women are collaborative, thoughtful, and care about community member’s concerns, regardless of their social status or financial wealth.
Beerman, Henney have earned reelection
During election season it is often challenging to decide what to believe and who to vote for. It’s difficult to discern fact from fiction, especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with the candidates. But sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be.
I am fortunate to have known and worked with many of our fine elected officials who helped guide the town over the past 41 years. Governing and representing your constituents is not easy; it’s a hard job. And yes, differences of opinion, disputes and acrimony are often part of a healthy process. But I’ve learned to be leery of conflict provocateurs who always find things to criticize and condemn. If process takes on a life of its own, action and results usually suffer. It’s easy to talk, it’s harder to do.
Over the last four years a lot of good things have happened in our town. The list is long and impressive, including open space purchases, ownership/control over the Bonanza Park land (the arts and culture district) and environmental stewardship, to name a few. Good things don’t just magically happen. It takes years of sustained effort to achieve positive results.
What Mayor Andy Beerman and Councilperson Tim Henney have in common with some of the best from the past is a love for Park City and a bias for tangible accomplishment. They work for us and they fight for us. They truly care about all segments of our community and its citizens. They have both invested their lives in Park City. They understand who and what Park City is and is not, and do the hard work to ensure that our future reflects our past values and norms. We are a real city with a soul. Andy and Tim get it.
Andy and Tim are both hard working, energetic and “wicked” smart. They are people of integrity. They are two of the best elected officials I’ve seen in many years. Their dedication and expertise serves our town well.
Reelect them. They have worked hard for us. They have earned your support and vote. Sometimes it’s really not that complicated.
Snyderville Basin resident and former Park City councilor and Summit County commissioner
Worel is thoughtful and pragmatic
As the Nov. 2 deadline for mail-in and drop-off ballots nears, eligible voters within the municipal boundary have an opportunity to participate in an election that will impact the future direction of Park City. For this reason, I am proud to publicly support Nann Worel for mayor.
Nann has been a tireless advocate for the city, first as member of the Park City Planning Commission and then as a city councilor (since 2015). Throughout her lifetime of service to others, Nann has proven herself as a consensus builder — a dedicated, inclusive leader who understands the power of partnership and mutual respect in helping to address social equity issues, regional planning needs, affordable and attainable childcare, mental health advocacy, and challenges to safe and healthy aging for older members of our community.
I have watched Nann’s thoughtful and pragmatic approach to issues, both large and small. I believe her clear vision and deep understanding of the issues involved in our City’s social, economic and financial development will help us to create together a healthier future and opportunity for us all.
I enthusiastically support Nann Worel’s candidacy for mayor and urge you to do the same when you mail in or drop off your ballot on or before Nov. 2.
The effects of this city’s economic position can be seen in its streets and on its mountains. Racial diversity and living in this town struggle to co-exist.
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