Letters, Oct. 23-26: Endorsements continue as Election Day nears
A vote to help our town prosper
It’s time for us geezers to wholeheartedly endorse the bond initiative for upgrades to the schools and to vote for it and to get our friends to vote for it! Don’t have kids in the school system, you say? Well, you used to and the rest of the town does. Do you want the town to prosper? Folks with a good education don’t move to places where the schools aren’t good. Want to see adorable trick-or-treaters? That means kids. That means schools.
So please. Vote to improve our schools.
Transparency and truth needed
Transparency has sadly been a topic in this year’s election for mayor. Parkites are highly engaged and passionate about local issues and value honest dialogue with elected officials and city staff. We won’t always agree but the basis of healthy conversation must be truth.
Some fellow residents felt the only way to learn what really transpired with last year’s murals was to submit a GRAMA request to the city. If you haven’t read the article in Wednesday’s Park Record on this topic, I urge you to do so.
This is not about rehashing the topic of the murals. Rather, new information was revealed which is front-page news because it is inconsistent with Andy Beerman’s public comments.
Regardless of your feelings about the murals or their content, the documents show, among other things, that:
• An email dated 7/2/2020 showed that Andy was sent an image of the murals before they were painted. Though in a later public forum, he stated that “none of us knew what we were going to have until the morning of.”
• Andy claimed to not know what would be painted on Main Street on 7/4/2020 and in a 7/6/20 email said the Black Lives Matter mural was the choice of the artist. However, an email dated 6/12/2020 shows that it was Andy who suggested the subject for the street painting.
• Neither Andy nor involved city staff gave advance notice to business owners, police and others of the content and scale of the murals until the day of the painting due to the supposedly short time between learning of the subject and seeing it on the street. Yet emails show his proposal of the mural’s subject was made three weeks earlier and the second included images of the murals two days earlier.
Based on the above information, his claim to not know exactly what would be painted on Main Street simply cannot be true nor can it reflect the level of transparency, honesty and truth our community deserves.
I raise this not because of any objection to the subject, but because the essence of community leadership is truth.
Please give this consideration before marking your ballot. I urge you to vote for Nann Worel for mayor to restore transparency, trust, accountability and truth to local government.
Wildfires remain a threat
Wildfires are a real issue, one that hit home this past summer as we all wondered what would happen during the Parleys Fire. There was uncertainty and doubt if the fire would come over the ridge towards the Park City community, while it threatened neighborhoods and forced evacuations.
I attended a forum at Santy Auditorium on Sept. 30, where we heard from a 12-person panel. It speaks to the amazing level of coordination between Park City, Summit County, neighboring jurisdictions, the state of Utah and more. It was also stressed how lucky we were on a number of fronts (i.e.; equipment, personnel, and weather).
Next time we may not be so lucky; and as discussed in the forum, it will happen again.
The near-term cost for wildfire mitigation in Park City? $28 million. Here’s a pretty good example of why fiscal responsibility is so important, even though we are a wealthy municipality. Millions of tax dollars have been spent in the past few years on non-capital projects that went nowhere and ultimately provided no community benefit. The more money we waste the more likely we will have to bond against future tax revenues or add it to our property tax bills.
Wildfire mitigation isn’t only about hiring professionals. There is a lot we can do at home, perhaps the city can even provide help to do so. Leadership Park City Class 25 distributed a great Resource Guide (https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/438369/Wildfire_Preparedness_Resource_Guide.pdf) that everyone in our community should act on. Simple things like trimming back trees, planting fire resistant landscaping (which can overlap with low-water landscaping), cleaning your rain gutters, etc. make the difference. It’s not only about your home burning down, it’s also about not providing fuel for the fire to rage through a neighborhood.
Let’s all work together to take bold, proactive action!
Thaynes Canyon resident and Park City Council candidate
Henney has the right approach
Park City will do well to re-elect Tim Henney to the City Council. Even before his election to the council, Tim worked for the development of trails and open space in and around Park City. As a member of the council, he has been a supporter and leader on the initiatives that have made Park City the great place to live that it is today — the trail system, the free bus system, affordable housing, and especially, the acquisitions of Bonanza Flat and Treasure Hill, among others. The other contenders for the council simply do not have Tim Henney’s track record of achievement on the issues important to Park City, inside or outside of government.
It’s unfortunate that County Council members have attempted to influence voters by disparaging Park City leaders. The city and county have different (although overlapping) constituencies to serve, and different resources do so. It is not surprising that they don’t see eye-to-eye on all issues, especially financial ones, even those of mutual interest.
Other candidates espouse transparency and openness to new ideas. These are laudable goals, but they do not indicate the directions the candidates’ actions would take when hard choices must be made. Instead, they talk in general terms about more thorough investigations, expertise from their business experience, collaboration with the county, partnering with local businesses and other potentially useful but vague exhortations.
One of Tim Henney’s best attributes is his pragmatic, non-ideological approach to issues. For example, where the city can contract to build affordable housing cheaper than private developers, the council has determined that the city should do so. If circumstances were otherwise, a different approach could be considered. Tim Henney’s approach will continue to serve Park City well.
Susan and Dale Poulter
Incumbents will take action
It was 1979, a cold winter night, driving along Highway 40. I was going to my new job in Salt Lake City. I looked off to the left and saw twinkling lights. I thought, well, that must be Park City.
Being a skier, I knew I needed to visit that little town.
Well, things happened. I moved there. Met the love of my life there. Found a good job there. And there became home. The friendliest place I’d ever been. Andy Beerman and Tim Henney, along with thousands of others, have the same general story.
Fast forward, and yep, things have changed. From one stop sign and miner shacks to a world-class resort town to a world-class town, period.
Our problems then were how are we gonna grow this place? Over the years we have learned that hyper growth brings with it problems.
I hear all the challengers in the current political races talk about the need for more studies, more public input before we can make any moves. But Park City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on transportation studies, a general plan and the 2020 Visioning Plan. We’ve spent years of deep listening, creating plans and incorporating ideas. Now, some say we need more task forces and more studies.
This is crazy. More analyses have never slowed growth, reduced traffic, or built housing. It will take action. The incumbents, Andy and Tim, don’t need years of more studies and education to help lead us. With the momentum we have, the time is now for experience and execution.
Andy Beerman for mayor and Tim Henney for City Council are my choices. It’s critical for many of us to make this a model mountain town because we want to die here.
Beerman’s leadership is crucial
I’m writing in support of Andy Beerman’s mayoral candidacy.
Having known Andy since the early to mid-1990s, I can speak to his sincerity and moral center. Andy has always spoken with clarity of thought and intention, and I’m grateful he has been our mayor for the last four years. His leadership, along with that of our council, throughout what is likely the strangest time in recent history has been nothing short of excellent. I encourage everyone to get out and vote for Andy — our local government and leadership is more important than ever.
I trust Beerman’s experience and wisdom
Andy appeals to me as the mayoral candidate due to his ability to listen, something I noticed about him the first time I met him years ago. His efforts to act on climate change mitigation are always a top priority in decision-making, intertwined into everything involved in running a city. He cherishes and understands this community and will do anything to make it better. But most importantly, why Andy appeals to me as the best candidate, is his experience with being mayor. He studies the trees but also the vast forest. He prepared for this position years ago and has learned, is still learning, through relationships, mistakes and celebrations, actions and words. I trust his experience, wisdom and ability to observe both the trees and the forest.
Beerman is a regional leader
Mayor Andy Beerman’s passion for recreation and open space conservation protects the places we all love and call home. As a climber, biker, backcountry, resort and Nordic skier himself, he understands what entices Parkites and those living on the town’s borders to live, work and play in the Wasatch. He gets the balance between development, conservation and recreation and tips the scale towards conservation and recreation not only for our enjoyment, but also as a way to meet challenges of the climate crisis. His vision extends past the city limits and into a regional and forest-wide connectivity that we need in leadership as our population continues to grow and pressure is put on finite resources, including trails and open spaces. A vote for Andy is a vote for not only a local leader, but a regional one who can represent our town’s historic passions.
Heber resident and Salt Lake Climbers Alliance executive director
Vote ‘yes’ for our community
Onward and upward!
Please vote “Yes” for the master facilities 2021 education bond.
I am a 22-year full time resident of Park City and have raised four kids through the Park City School District. They have all moved on to great colleges and careers and are proud of the education they received from their hometown school district.
Now that I no longer have family personally benefiting from the local schools, I still fully support the passage of the education bond. There is no better way to invest in your community than to invest in the schools. Early childhood education leads to significant improvements in student success and mental well-being, significantly decreasing crime and substance abuse. For those of us who live here and enjoy all that Park City has to offer, it is a small price to pay to improve our community and way of life.
The school board’s decision to move forward with a general obligation bond is a sign of them doing their proper due diligence and ultimately choosing the most fiscally responsible path forward. Given the current interest rates, we will rarely have another opportunity to secure less expensive funding.
Please vote “Yes” for education and our community!
Mark J. Fischer
Park City is lucky to have Beerman
As a long-time Park City resident, engaged community member, attorney and parent, I am writing in support of Andy Beerman for mayor.
The bulk of my work with Andy was in my capacity as board chair of a local nonprofit and, while I appreciate the ambitious work that Andy has done and continues to do for our nonprofit community, the primary reason I am voting for him is because of his character.
I have not always agreed with Andy on decisions the city has made, but he has always been honest with me. And he sought out my opinion, even when he knew we would disagree. It would have been far easier for him to tell me what I wanted to hear and then blame a different municipal course of action on politics or COVID, like some have. But he didn’t. He owned his decisions.
Some in town accuse Andy of not listening, when I know that he not only listened to me and other community partners, but also ensured public process in excess of what was required by law. And, when his constituents said they wanted more or different process, he was the one who hit the brakes, so he could hear what they had to say.
Some in town believe that, if a politician disagrees with you, they are not listening. But, if that were true, then the losing side on an issue could always claim they were not heard. It’s possible to be heard — and even be correct — and still not win an argument. Ask any attorney — or parent!
Andy listens, seeks out adverse and auspicious opinions, and, after sifting through it all, is honest about the decisions he has made and why. That is a rare quality in a politician, especially these days. Park City is lucky to have him!
Pay it forward for students
Our community has a unique opportunity to fund crucial infrastructure upgrades that will benefit current and future students in the Park City School District. The school bond has been logically structured and carefully vetted to deliver maximum value in three key areas.
1. Adding ninth-graders to Park City High School will provide a four-year experience on one campus that aligns with the national standard and will enhance the school’s ability to provide seamless curricular, scheduling and counseling experiences for all students.
2. Moving eighth-graders to Ecker Hill Middle School will allow educators to provide educational continuity in a single building for three years, creating more opportunities for students to build skills and develop confidence as they prepare for high school.
3. Expanding early childhood capacity at every elementary school will promote core skill development and reduce the need for intervention services.
Our district’s graduates are thriving as the result of the education they received and have benefited from the improvements funded by past voter-supported bond initiatives. Modernizing facilities now is necessary to deliver a high-quality education for future generations of students in our community, and we strongly encourage our fellow voters to pay it forward by voting yes for our schools.
Chris and Amy Neff
A community cornerstone
We urge our fellow voters in the Park City School District to support our schools by voting “Yes” in support the education bond on Nov. 2. The “no frills” plan underlying the bond has been well thought out with a view to achieving maximum value. These physical improvements and added services are long overdue. Public education is a cornerstone of our democratic way of life. We believe Park City should be providing our children a first-rate school system and a safe environment in which to learn. This bond is being presented at the right time for us to take advantage of low interest rates. We can do this if we vote “Yes” on the PCSD bond.
Jill and Richard Sheinberg
Beerman is an outstanding public servant
I support Andy Beerman for mayor because I have worked with many elected and public officials for 50 years (most good, some not). Andy is an outstanding public servant who deserves reelection.
I opened my first office in Park City in 1979 and had three offices on Main Street while Kristine and I lived in a Motherlode condominium on Park Avenue for over 30 years, raising our two children and now our three Park City public-school-attending granddaughters. Throughout this time we have seen many challenges to our hopes to keep Park City the wonderfully successful town it is. Among these challenges had been the 35-year festering problem of the proposed gross Treasure development. The solution evaded many competent and committed mayors, City Council members and engaged citizens. With the help of many and crucially timed leadership by Andy Beerman, we now have open space. I consider this result at Treasure the capstone of Andy Beerman’s civic service so far.
Couple this past performance (and many others), with Andy Beerman’s vision of the future for Park City’s senior citizens, our locally working children, our grandchildren, and friends and neighbors, Andy will continue to lead Park City as our reelected mayor. I respectfully request that you vote for Andy Beerman for mayor of Park City. I’m all in for Andy.
Invest in education
My children — a Treasure Mountain Junior High ninth-grader and a 2021 Park City High School graduate — will not benefit from the facilities improvements covered by the bond on our ballots. But like so many other community endeavors, the specifics aren’t about my family’s situation. And they’re not about yours. Our community will benefit from this investment in education. I’m voting yes. I am asking you to do the same.
In the 20 years I’ve lived here, I have volunteered in public schools — even prior to my kids’ enrollment, I donated my time as a guest speaker in classrooms, and for professional development classes for educators. I’m currently serving on my fourth School Community Council, have served on parent-teacher organizations, taught in parent-run art programs, and countless other endeavors. I’ve seen the first high school expansion. The growth of the Park City Education Foundation. Preschool at elementary sites. Full-day kindergarten.
It’s time to expand those programs in elementary schools, and to finally retire the Treasure Mountain building. (It’s worth noting, the physical size of the students, themselves, is comically juxtaposed against too-narrow hallways, too-small classrooms. With 800 burgeoning young adults, the place is bursting at the seams.) We know that maintaining this out-of-date building is unsustainable, and financially irresponsible.
It’s time to create space for eighth-graders to enjoy a third year of excellent education and support at Ecker Hill Middle School. It’s time to welcome the ninth-graders, fully, into the PCHS community. It’s time for our community to support the needs of families with preschool-aged children. It’s time for students to benefit from enhanced educational experiences these expansions will afford. The bond alone won’t do it, but we can’t do any of it without these long-anticipated, and much-needed, improvements. I’m grateful to stakeholders who invested countless hours into the master planning process. Getting here wasn’t easy, but the next step is: Vote yes.
Bari Nan Rothchild
Bus system is waste of resources
According to the city website we employ a little over 400 full-time equivalents (a way of accounting, I guess) and the transportation department accounts for 111 of those FTEs, or about 27%. All of this so the city can brag about its wonderful bus system. The problem is that except for skiers going to and from PCMR and Deer Valley the buses are mostly empty. The route from Park City to Kimball Junction is the worst offender and now the county is getting in on the transportation of empty seats. I realize that the bus system is a sacred cow to the City Council but it is still an awful waste of resources. It needs to be thoroughly reorganized to accommodate real needs.
Prioritize Park City’s schools
As a proud father and long-time resident of the Park City community, I encourage you to join me in voting “yes” in support of the Park City School District bond on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
My wife and I have lived in Park City for almost 20 years, and I’ve worked in the ski industry for nearly 30 years. We’ve witnessed and experienced how the strength of our exceptional schools is a crucial pillar of why Park City remains a thriving, sustainable place to call home.
For parents like us, and others who are seeking or have chosen to pursue long-term careers here, living in the best school district in the state is an immediate draw. Thankfully, our school board has been paying close attention to the community’s vision of how we’ll stay competitive among our top-tier school peers nationwide moving forward.
In the last four years, the Park City Board of Education has coordinated thousands of hours of community engagement through open houses, online surveys, forums, roundtables and school board meetings to gather input and feedback from Park City residents regarding the future of our schools. As usual, Parkites showed up and spoke up, and prioritized three top needs:
• Bring ninth grade into Park City High School
• Bring eighth grade back to Ecker Hill Middle School
• Provide early childhood education opportunities at elementary schools
In response, the school board diligently mapped out the most fiscally conservative plan of action to make these needs a reality, which includes a strategic variety of revenue sources to fund the entire $129 million district improvement project, with a portion, $79.2 million, on next month’s ballot.
Although our daughters, currently 11th- and seventh-graders, won’t likely experience the transformative results of the proposed bond firsthand, I support the forward-thinking of my fellow Parkites who have been driving these efforts for years. Prioritizing our schools matters, and voting “yes” to support this bond is an investment in our economy, our local workforce, and most importantly, our kids — our community’s most valuable resource.
Henney gets things done
We first met Tim 20 years ago and know that he is honest, civil, hard working and knowledgeable about Park City — both its history and the ways it can work better going forward.
With ever-increasing development pressures, our little town needs a City Hall that balances residents’ interests ahead of business profits.
Tim gets things done. We urge all Park City citizens to vote for this experienced, committed city councilor.
Barbara Kuhr and John Plunkett
All is not well in Park City
Park City is an idyllic town year-round for many. It’s hard to reconcile that anyone could be less than perfect in mind, body and spirit with the abounding fall beauty all around us. However, looks can be deceiving and when we look closer and read the recent Community Engagement And Behavioral Health Survey reported by The Park Record on Sept. 28, we see that all is not well.
The report gives some disappointing statistics about how we have fallen short meeting the mental health needs of our community. At Connect Summit County, we were not surprised to hear that 31% of people who need mental health services report being unable to access them for reasons such as cost, stigma and not knowing about available resources.
Connect Summit County’s goal is to help people navigate the mental health system and provide information about available resources. While our staff can provide support with a warm ear, we are finding it more challenging every day to direct people to vital mental health services. The majority of mental health providers in Park City are full and have wait lists of up to four months. Many of the therapists in Summit County don’t accept insurance, and fees are often cost-prohibitive for people in need.
Our local leadership talks a lot about a sustainable future for Park City, and we need to do a better job of making mental health awareness and accessibility a part of this future. People should not have to choose between mental health therapy and putting food on the table. So, what do we need? We need options that lower the barriers of cost for people seeking help, and we need more mental health providers including therapists and psychiatric professionals who can take on clients.
If you are a mental health provider and have not yet been listed on our comprehensive resource directory, or you need to update your information, please submit your listing on our site here.
If you have ANY availability to accept new clients, reach out and let us know by emailing resources@CONNECTSummitCounty.org or by calling our resources line at 435-776-4357.
Connect Summit County board member
Beerman’s bold action is needed
For 30 years, I have had the good fortune to call Park City home. As in our own lives, we all see and feel continual change over time, some welcome and some less so. Parkites are fortunate to have elected several formative leaders who help set Park City’s course and build our cherished character. Andy Beerman is one of those leaders.
Like the very first open space bond passed in 1990 which preserved the White Barn and surrounding areas in perpetuity to the 2002 Olympics, bold vision coupled with decisive action dramatically changes the course of a community’s evolution. S.R. 224 could have been a strip mall development from Kimball Junction to Payday if leaders did not build the community will to tax ourselves to protect and define our town through open space acquisitions.
From driving the Vision 2020 process to completing the Bonanza Flat and Treasure Hill opens space acquisitions, Andy has sought to understand our community values and chart the bold action necessary to advance them. Andy’s inspirational leadership on climate change established Park City as a regional leader setting our community on a more environmentally sustainable path, and more critically, gathering the support of large portions of Utah population in the quest to reduce carbon emissions. The acquisition of Bonanza Park which became known as the arts and culture district is another example of leadership. Instead of a dense commercial development, Andy lead the community in a quest to control the redevelopment of this critical intersection and city entry. While one might argue that we were premature to demolish existing buildings, the overall mission remains true to the values we express as a community; fostering a community-focused development featuring affordable housing, enhanced access and promotion of the arts and cultural organizations which help enrich and differentiate our community. Andy listened to the community and lead us to our current position; in control and with many options available.
Leadership is risky. There is no cover when one is out front, and it is easy to make a misstep. We are fortunate that Andy displays the bravery to take bold action to promote our community values and the listening skills to collaborate and represent our interests in the greater Wasatch region. His passion helps us all come together and “love where we live.”
Worel understands the issues
What to say about Nann Worel? I have been part of the Summit County Aging Alliance which has explored issues regarding transportation, housing, nutrition and sociability for our aging population that is likely to double by 2050. I have been involved with the county-wide Mental Health Awareness Survey, which under the auspices of the Summit County Health Department, looked at mental health and delivery of services. I have been involved with Peace House, our local domestic abuse shelter, providing a safe haven to those suffering abuse, be it sexual, physical, financial or emotional as well as providing general knowledge and counseling throughout the county and in our schools. Nann knows just about everything about the People’s Health Clinic. It just goes on and on.
Nann has been either an active member or a liaison to each of those entities. It is almost inconceivable that someone in the community could have more understanding of issues facing Park City and Summit County. The first three entities are the ones with which I have been involved and I know of her involvement. I know there are others with an example being the Senior Center. Perhaps as important is her accessibility to her constituents. She listens to comments and answers questions. I wholeheartedly endorse Nann for mayor of Park City.
Laguna Woods, California
Beerman, Henney champion open space
Do you sigh, “I am home” when you pass the white barn entry corridor into town?
How many photos are on your camera of the recent fall colors?
Our cherished interactions with our natural setting did not happen by accident. You could have been looking at a hillside covered with housing and shopping malls through the meadows.
Open space preservation and our year-round trail access is a product of the diligent, methodical and tactical work of engaged citizens. These issues are deeply personal and close to my heart. Two citizens with such shared conviction are Andy Beerman and Tim Henney.
Over the decades in my experience, Andy Beerman’s leadership placed him above all others. I am most impressed with his initiative by working with other officials toward stated goals, he has achieved very positive results. Others have attended meetings, but Mayor Andy has brought about results.
Since the 1990s Henney and Beerman have supported trail access through the organization I have been part of, Mountain Trails Foundation. We work with private landowners, developers and local and regional governments. Over 400 continuous miles of non-motorized trail can be attributed to the work of many, including Andy Beerman and Tim Henney. In the early ’90s, Tim Henney served on the first Mountain Trails Foundation board. Because of him, Mountain Trails is a more enthusiastic and driven organization. He puts himself out there, takes risks and does his job for all of us. Tim Henney has conviction and competence. This community is better because of his passion.
Henney and Beerman champion open space, the primary “silver bullet” to combat growth and enhance the life we’ve chosen. I served as co-chairperson of the city’s first Citizens Open Space Advisory Committee where I came to know these men well. With their initiative and conviction, as a community we’ve acquired and protected over 10,000 acres of open space, 3,000 of which were secured since 2012. Recent additions include Treasure Hill, Bonanza Flat, Armstrong Ranch and Clark Ranch. These are key parcels with significant impact, acquired and protected through their decades of leadership and collaboration.
We’re preserving the lifestyle we’ve chosen in Park City, thanks to citizens like Mayor Andy Beerman and Councilor Tim Henney and by approving open space bonds.
With my love of this community, trails and open space, I encourage you to vote Andy Beerman for mayor, Tim Henney for council and “Yes” for the county general obligation bond (open space).
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