Post election reconstruction
November 12, 2013
The best, and perhaps hardest, part of the democratic process is stitching a nation, or state, or town, back together after a hard-fought election.
Park City is no exception.
This year’s mayoral and city council candidates offered distinctly different opinions about how to lead our town into the future and, for the better part of two months, they conducted spirited debates, each arguing his or her case with conviction.
As their platforms solidified, supporters planted signs, wrote endorsements and split into separate camps. During that time we were a town uncomfortably divided — all the more awkward given our tendency to frequent the same grocery stores, schools and movie theaters.
But, now that the election is over, it is time to set those differences aside and to concentrate on our common goal of making Park City the best it can be, for each and every one of its citizens.
That’s not easy. As Park City’s world-class athletes know, the better the competition, the tougher the race, and Park City was extremely fortunate to have an abundance of qualified candidates this year. To the winners: Jack Thomas, Cindy Matsumoto and Tim Henney, we congratulate you and look forward to seeing your energy and idealism converted into policies and action.
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Some though, had to lose. To them, Andy Beerman, Alex Butwinski, and Mary Wintzer, we offer our deepest thanks. A democracy depends on the courage of regular citizens to step forward and take part in a messy, often personal and always difficult process. It takes a lot of fortitude to bare your soul, devote yourself to a cause and then to lose by a handful of votes. Please know that the community is undeniably improved thanks to the issues you raised and the debate that followed. Our hope is that you will not be too disillusioned to continue sharing your expertise and passion with the coming administration.
For the mayoral candidates, in particular, we have a special request. Despite the barbs that were tossed over the political fence, we are counting on you to set a tone of unity and cooperation. We understand that you have different perspectives about city policies but we suspect those differences may have been more semantic than substantive and that underneath the rhetoric your visions for Park City’s future are more similar than disparate.
Finally, throughout the campaign season we heard loud and clear from candidates and constituents that their priorities included the need to maintain the city’s unique character, protect the natural landscape and create a sustainable economy for the middle class. Those are tough challenges and to conquer them the council will need to continue mustering input from diverse voices.