Letters, Oct. 27-29: Park City election and Live PC Give PC are on Parkites’ minds
Beerman stands up for Park City
I’ve known Andy Beerman since 2003, when he and Thea ran Treasure Mountain Inn and I helped market conference space on behalf of the Chamber/Bureau to meeting planners bringing groups to town. Even then, on a range of topics, Andy had opinions and offered creative thinking to find ways to solve issues. I later moved into the membership director role and continued to engage in conversation with him about how the Chamber/Bureau could improve aspects of its work. He continued to have opinions and would openly voice them, always in a positive and respectful way.
Andy knew various aspects of our community’s inner workings should be questioned and improved and he was right in doing so. As he notes, this eventually led him to get involved at a leadership level, both with the Historic Park City Alliance business group and afterward through the Park City Council and eventually as our mayor. To Andy, and all of those who devote countless hours to serve our community and positively affect change, THANK YOU. It certainly doesn’t mean they get it right 100% of the time, or frankly that I expect them to, but they are on the ground doing the work, not sitting on the sidelines.
Andy has been successful representing Park City and our interests, has regional respect and support among a myriad of elected officials, and stands up for our community without hesitation (Hideout, Treasure Hill, etc). Andy has helped accomplish so much in his first term as mayor, from saving swaths of open space like Treasure Hill and Bonanza Flat, to helping guide our community through a never-before-seen pandemic. I am grateful Andy doesn’t hesitate to discuss what we need to do now on the other side of the pandemic. He has opinions and voices them; he then looks to do what he can to help Park City have its best days ahead.
Andy, thank you for your service to our community over the last four years. I hope you have another four years to continue the good work in your role as mayor. In this election, I’m all in for Andy.
District should consider virtual alternative
Please vote “No” on the upcoming school bond!
You may be wondering: “But doesn’t my child deserve quality education?”
I’m simply asking this community to take a step back to look to the near future of education which I have directly witnessed. This year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made headlines by donating $5 million dollars to the Khan Academy, an incredible online teaching website that my family relied heavily upon to get through the early pandemic lockdown.
Did you know that our Park City students can’t virtually attend Park City schools? Parents that request virtual coursework are directed to a state program corporately called, “Pearson Connect.” If Pearson is really dictating our curriculum, why can’t our district offer a forward-thinking online option that’s managed and taught by district employees?
We should press pause on this good-intentioned but myopic bond and consider offering an exclusively online option for 6th-12th graders. Perhaps a financial incentive to steer older students into district online coursework that doesn’t require a $90 million facility.
It’s 2021, our teachers are essentially regurgitating a Pearson curriculum. Why can’t they do that in virtual classroom based on the Pearson tailored to local needs? Of course, students would still gather for their labs, sports and clubs like the popular robotics club. I can think of much better ways to spend $90 million than on a babysitting palace for our tweens and teens. This bond should be tabled, the district should offer a hybrid online program, and even provide financial incentives for students to stay home. Consider rewriting the bond to pay for required elementary school expansion.
In sum, I fail to comprehend why the Board of Education and their vocal supporters haven’t considered this alternative already. I urge you to please vote “No” on the upcoming school bond.
Americans face a choice
We Americans, through our representatives in Congress, face a clear and immediate choice. Do we preserve and enhance the wealth of stunningly wealthy people, including a few dozen who control trillions of dollars in wealth, wealth that the rest of us created but do not own?
Or do we promote universal health care, free post-secondary education, a 21st-century infrastructure, the elimination of childhood poverty and hunger, a living minimum wage, racial justice, affordable prescription drug prices and, most importantly, the saving of the only planet we have.
Most Americans have expressed support for the latter choice. But a very large minority, including the vast majority of Utahns and the entire Utah congressional delegation, support the first choice. And that minority, through gerrymandering, voter suppression, misinformation, the filibuster, stacking and politicizing the courts, dark money, corruption and just plain bad, unethical, and often illegal behavior, are making sure that the majority fail and that the ultra-wealthy, who use their wealth to gain more power and then use that power to gain more wealth, succeed.
Mike Lee was correct when he said that we are not a democracy. If America were a democracy, it would be a very different place, not just for us, but more importantly for our children, whose welfare too many people routinely and consistently vote against when given a choice.
Holly A. Carlin
We can keep Beerman and Worel
As Park City planning commissioners who proudly serve our community, we’d like to thank and applaud both Andy Beerman and Nann Worel for their continued public service. We have supported both Andy and Nann in prior elections. As fellow Park City public servants, both Nann and Andy have governed with dedication to transparency as well as a genuine concern and openness to public input. When we vote for Andy as mayor, we continue to support both Andy and Nann because Nann will continue to serve and vote as a city councilor and Andy will continue to serve as our mayor.
Our mayor sets the tone for our city, so we truly appreciate Andy’s dedication to preserving open space and lifetime environmental stewardship (i.e. no development at Bonanza Flat and Treasure Hill). Over the last four years, Andy has built strong regional relationships which are critically important as we become more integrated with the Salt Lake and Heber valleys. Andy succeeded against some of our city’s toughest challenges; and, frankly, Andy deserves another term as our community will be best served with Nann on our City Council and Andy as mayor.
Note: This letter reflects our opinion as individuals not as representatives for the entire Park City Planning Commission.
Sarah Hall, Christin Van Dine and Bill Johnson
Park City planning commissioners
Students have a winning argument
The only things left on my Facebook feed are news outlets and ads for magnifier glasses. I think that’s the result of a great “opinion divide.” I know people holding an opinion that can’t succinctly explain why they hold it. I have family members that hold an opinion, type in ALL CAPS, then resort to calling people “sheep” when others don’t agree. The opinion divide can be so cavernous that we start to lose sight of people on the other side.
One glimmer of hope I see to improve our future rests on a small high school population of debate students. High school debate teams across the United States teach our kids to exercise critical thinking skills. Students research both sides of a heated topic, then eloquently present sound arguments. They are taught to listen to the opposing side to find their argument’s weakness. Students in speech events perform similarly and sometimes include humor or entertainment.
These teens are amazing! Watching the students debate is energizing. If you’ve ever judged a debate tournament you know exactly what I mean. Many of us Park City High School debate team parents wonder why debate isn’t a required class.
The Park City High School debate team has a record of success. Of course success includes winning competitions, but also includes honing analytic skills and gaining experience attractive to colleges. This year the PCHS debate team is ready to grow. They have lofty goals for recruiting new teammates, providing scholarships and bringing workshops to campus.
We have a new debate coach who has his PhD and is an instructor at the University of Utah. He hopes to introduce more high school students to the world of debate through access and enrichment. This means we have a very large financial goal to meet with our Live PC Give PC campaign. It is more than the debate parents can shoulder alone. Can you help us by donating?
The PCHS debate team Live PC Give PC page is live! You can donate anytime from now until end of day Friday, Nov. 5.
Debate club has changed my life
Nervous and anxious, and having to be ready to argue why health care is a necessity for all Americans, I hovered over the laptop for hours late into the night. The internet revealed things previously oblivious to me, things like how over 30 million people are uninsured.
The debate preparation included writing down pieces of evidence like this one to be ready for competition. Little did I know then that this exercise would change my worldview. I became enthralled about the inequities of our society and wanted to make sure I would never be ignorant of the facts again.
Starting four years ago, I learned all the events debate club had to offer, from public forum to dramatic interpretation. I tried them all, but one really resonated with me. Student Congress became my North Star.
Presenting persuasive arguments by giving speeches backed with strong evidence, not without a little theatric performance, was right up my alley. When I sat down to research, something clicked. I became alive with discovered evidence and ideas and was determined to learn more about current events.
I’ve continued with debate club for four years. This is where I’m comfortable, and where I make friends. I surround myself with others that have the same energy I do when discussing current events. I’ve assembled a large treasure chest of data that I can use in normal conversations, but is also useful for comedic wit.
Debate research is still my North Star. Debate club has set my course as an adult. I hope I can chase my love affair for current events, all the way into an amazing career.
Please help debate club enrich other students like me by donating: livepcgivepc.org/story/Pchsdebate.
Park City High School senior
I voted for Beerman
The letter to the editor on Oct. 20 entitled “Commit to equity and inclusion” put a pit in my stomach. The letter makes clear that a portion of our neighbors and our visitors will not feel welcome if we elect the candidate that does not support the mural. I want those people to know that I voted for the pro-mural candidate, Mayor Beerman.
Beerman stands up for what he believes
Let’s all pull together and elect Andy Beerman as Park City’s mayor for four more years. Park City is fortunate to have a great leader and manager at its helm during these historic times. Leadership requires the courage to clearly and unambiguously state positions on the challenging issues. Andy clearly lays out his positions on his website at parkcityandy.com. A good leader must be open minded, actively listen and reach out for feedback. Andy famously rented a space at Park Silly every Sunday several years ago to hear directly from all Parkites. Ever see Andy working out at the MARC? Yeah me neither, because he is always on a stationary treadmill patiently listening to a Park City resident. Andy expertly leads efforts to streamline permitting, aid businesses through COVID, secure an upcoming Winter Olympics, improving walkability and working cooperatively with our neighboring communities.
Andy is energetic, approachable, reliable, dedicated, smart and steady. He is a successful, self-made businessman through his efforts right here in Park City. He stands up for what he believes, what’s right for Park City, and always with impeccable ethical behavior.
We are lucky to have a mayor as amazing as Andy and I hope you will join me this year to cast your ballot for Andy in 2021. I’m all in for Andy!
Help a nonprofit’s mission grow
Nestled under the mountains, Summit Community Gardens is a place that makes our community unique. Started by a group from Leadership Park City, the garden is located on the former grounds of Miss Billie’s Kid Kampus across from Matt Knoop Park.
There, over a hundred families care for their own little plots of land growing vegetables and flowers. Our garden director, Natalie, shares tips on topics ranging from environmentally safe vole control to the plants that grow best at our high altitude — beets, garlic, kale and more.
Carmen and Jessie work with kids in our summer camps and after-school programs. We believe that it is important for people, especially kids, to learn how to grow their own food and understand where food comes from. We offer adult classes for those that are young at heart!
We also believe that no one should go hungry and that everyone should have access to local, fresh, organic produce. We dedicate our demonstration gardens to growing produce with the purpose of donating it to those in need. Each summer we distribute free weekly CSA baskets, filled with organic produce and recipes, to local families. Sloane is working on a plan to bring “pocket gardens” directly into those neighborhoods.
On Nov. 5, Park City Community Foundation invites all of us to support all the local nonprofits in a single day of giving — Live PC Give PC. I am excited to support the community that I want to live in — one that cares about sustainable gardening, encourages families to grow their own food, and delivers fresh, organic food to the doorsteps of those in need.
I urge every community member to join the fun and support Summit Community Gardens on this special day. We can’t do it without you!
Summit Community Gardens board president
Nann Worel is the right leader for Park City now and in the future. She is an experienced public servant, she knows Park City and cares about our shared future. Nann will provide open dialogue for complex issues as well as plans for expanded programming for senior citizens, a largely ignored segment of our community.
Nann Worel has proven herself to be the thoughtful and pragmatic leader we need as mayor. Tana Toly is a multi-generational local business owner with the unique perspective of the challenges that face today’s small businesses in Park City. Jeremy Rubell is a considerate and pragmatic problem solver. These three will provide the levelheaded temperament needed in City Hall. Park City needs thoughtful leaders, not ones that just leap to the topic du jour without considering the repercussions such as murals, repositories, closed meetings, ever expanded arts district, etc.
City steps up after storm
The Park City Parks Department responded to our 16-year storm damage by opening the “Christmas Tree” lot below PC Hill for city residents to drop storm-downed trees and branches. This response is a great example where a city site and assets (whisper chipper, front loader, chip recycling) give residents leverage in storm cleanup. Thank you.
I have never lost an oak tree in 16 years of residency. This storm broke or downed 10 to 12 trees — some 15 feet tall, hence my “16-year storm” comment. Like most residents, my wife and I are here for the beauty, the access to outdoor recreation and the historically reasonable cost of living. Most residents are a similarly hardy bunch, willing to do all their home maintenance even through our Medicare years. I encourage city staff to keep finding ways to give hardy locals such leverage. We thank you.
Warning friends: Expect that this 16-year storm also means a higher risk from fresh deadfall if you ski the trees in the early season.
Just say ‘no’ to Tech Center project
In December 2008 when we approved the Tech Center at Kimball Junction and acquired the valuable open space there from the LDS Church, at a cost of $25 million, I was a county commissioner. Only two buildings were built: Skullcandy and the Chamber/Bureau’s Visitor Information Center. Why, in a period of amazing expansion, did the Tech Center owners fail to attract suitable buyers? Dakota Pacific bought the property, perhaps at a fire sale discount, and is proposing a residential/commercial project which is growth inducing, not contributing to our economic well-being, nor does it address our need for housing our critical community workers.
1. 336 additional housing rental units is inviting about 1,000 people to relocate to Summit County. With only 55 units at 30%-50% AMI, this proposal is NOT addressing our affordable rental need. It is not addressing our need to house either seasonal workers, our critical workforce, or our aging population.
2. During the current municipal election season, I’ve heard countless discussions of our changing economic engine, due to climate change. Of course, we’re working to stall climate change, but we’ve already lost six weeks of winter. When snow and cooler mountain weather are no longer available, how will we employ our highly educated population that currently resides here? We need economic diversity.
3. In 2008, when this development agreement was approved, we were responding to citizen surveys from the Park City Chamber/Bureau that people wanted to diversify our economic engine to include “high tech” industries that didn’t necessarily demand more housing units.
4. Summit County can just say NO. The council is under no obligation to approve any change in the original development approval. This proposal only exacerbates the problems we already have: more people, unaffordable housing, lack of cohesive community and more traffic.
5. If the county says no, the land would remain vacant as a potential economic engine, which we so desperately need. There’s no other land in all of Summit County that so perfectly suits our need to develop high-tech/high-salary industry as this parcel.
Please tune in to Summit County Council meeting on Wednesday at 4 p.m. to listen and possibly comment: summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/17204/Staff-Report-Summit-Research-Park-Development-Agreement-Amendments?bidId=.
Support Park City’s parents
I love Park City and especially the nonprofits. On Nov. 5, Live PC Give PC is the chance to celebrate and honor their hard work. It’s one of my favorite day of the year! The color orange blankets the town. Volunteers wave signs on the street corners. The spirit of generosity and joy is infectious.
I am a cofounder of Hive Family Collective. We support, educate and connect new parents. Many of us moved to Park City for lifestyle — sacrificing proximity to our families. Hive fills that void.
If you are a parent, do you remember the first couple months after your baby was born? Often sleep deprived, alone and desperate for company, it’s overwhelming. Hive exists to build connections so no one feels alone.
One of our new mamas texted me this week: “Just wanted to say thank you for getting me out of the house rain, hail or shine. What you do for the community is so valuable.”
When you consider your donation options for Live PC Give PC, please keep us in mind. With your generosity, we will be able continue to the work to connect, support and educate new parents.
Hive Family Collective co-founder
Protect our powder
“It is what it is.” I would add: “until now.”
The new Warren Miller film that partnered with Outside+ features a hometown skier Harrison Holley and also includes women, two skiers with disabilities who summit Denali and skiers of color, which is so very heartening in an industry whose media historically featured a very narrow demographic … “until now.” Kudos to the production staff.
But the real star of this film is the Snow — capital “S,” yet there is no mention of the decreasing snowpack. There are gorgeous turns, gorgeous people, gorgeous antics and gorgeous scenery — ironically of glaciers — melting glaciers — but the film avoids any mention of climate change.
Maybe, in releasing this film amid a pandemic, the creators wanted to keep it light, but ignoring a disaster already in motion does not invoke levity in me, it adds to my bouts of despair.
Whether you think climate change is human caused or not, we know that if we reduce carbon output, we can decrease the consequences of our warming planet.
Silence is violence with climate change. Inaction is certain catastrophe— catastrophes already creating devastating living conditions for those outside the ski culture. Next year I hope that Warren Miller Entertainment places the preservation of snow front and center. How about a focused campaign of action?
Feature companies like Winterstick that are creating new materials to produce the gear that ferries us atop the sacred snow.
Collaboration is queen. I ask the production staff if next year they will collaborate with the women in the film who name nature as a love and with the Alaskan guide who acknowledges that she needs protection.
We protect what we love.
It is what it is so far. It is what it is until now.
Access to voting is a fundamental right
As a voting and taxpaying citizen, I appreciated the recent article by Mr. Alexander Cramer, “The county dials up different way to vote.” I agree with the concept of voting as a privilege and a right in our country that should not be taken for granted. Given the complexities that different members of our society face, whether it being a single parent with multiple jobs raising a family, or having a disease (such as a cancer diagnosis of leukemia) where your immune system is not working properly in a COVID-19 pandemic where simple public health measures are considered political, allowing for secure, proven methods of different types of voting, should be a fundamental right as a citizen of the United States, the state of Utah and a resident of Summit County.
We are better for efforts of Beerman, Henney
As a Park City councilor for the past five years, I have had the pleasure of working with both Mayor Andy Beerman and Councilman Tim Henney, and know that we are unbelievably lucky to have them serving our community. They are outstanding public servants, who lead with passion and dedication. They have earned another four years to work on our behalf.
Several Summit County councilors recently accused Mayor Andy and Tim of ruining inter-council relations. This accusation confuses disagreement with being disagreeable. The needs of the Park City and Summit County do not always overlap. Being an elected official requires setting aside differences and putting community goals first. While negotiating the transit split, Tim kept the needs of Park City in focus and negotiated skillfully on our behalf. Was it a heated negotiation? Sure. But, did we get through it and develop a transit plan that will grow and evolve to better serve the workforce and residents of Summit County? Absolutely!
Park City faces incredibly complex issues that pose real threats to our community and economy. We need leaders that are willing to be bold, set lofty goals and then be willing to dedicate resources to finding solutions. Andy has led us in in the climate fight and we are making real strides in moving towards being net zero that other communities across the country can duplicate. While there is no silver bullet resolving our traffic and congestion issues, Andy has pushed for active transportation solutions that put our residents first and make a difference in our day-to-day lives.
Andy and Tim work exceptionally hard for this community. They believe that we can do hard things and be successful. They lead the way on difficult discussions and we are the better for it. Vote for Andy and Tim.
Park City Council member
Signs of an election
It’s election season in Park City. So many capable people campaigning for office. Their advertising signs adorn our beloved town. Win or lose I trust that the respective candidates will retrieve their signage after the election. No reason for their good intentions to contribute to our litter epidemic. Yes, it’s part of their social and community responsibility.
With Erin’s leadership, we find comfort knowing more families like ours will have the privilege to give their own kids a solid foundation of lifelong learning for generations to come.
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