Record editorial: Residents with big ideas and passion can lead their communities
It is easy, especially in an era of intense polarization, for national politics to draw the majority of our focus. The machinations of Congress or the latest scandal erupting from the White House make for punchy headlines, fodder for late-night monologues and lively conversation around the proverbial water cooler.
But the people making the decisions that have the biggest impact on the communities within Summit County aren’t the politicians we see on TV. Rather, they’re our friends and neighbors who, motivated by a sense of pride in the place they live, have taken on the responsibility of leading their communities from local elected office.
Other civic-minded residents in Summit County now have an opportunity to join their ranks. The filing window for this fall’s municipal elections throughout the county opens Monday, June 3, and runs through Friday. Positions are available on the governing bodies of each of the six municipalities within the county.
Each municipality is facing important challenges. In Park City, for instance, officials are tasked with confronting an affordable housing crisis, wrangling an extensive special events calendar and ensuring the town retains socioeconomic diversity amid rising housing costs. On the East Side, cities are grappling with issues ranging from managing rapid growth to fostering a vibrant tax base to preserving a rural culture that has defined that part of the county for generations.
It will take people with passion and big ideas to overcome those problems.
Anyone eager to enter the fray should understand the commitment required. The job is not glamorous. The winners on Election Day must be prepared to sacrifice more than a little of their time, poring over documents and attendings meetings on evenings that could otherwise be spent with family or enjoying hobbies. At times, the work is thankless, as constituents are often quicker to contact officials with a complaint than a compliment.
But for those who want to make a difference in the place they live, there is also much reward to be had. Park City Councilor Tim Henney put it like this when describing the perks of the gig in advance of a recent City Hall event for people considering running for office: “It’s an honor to serve the community.”
Indeed it is, and this is the time for residents to grab hold a chance to experience it themselves.
The filing window opens Monday, June 3, and closes Friday at 5 p.m. Council seats are on the ballot in Park City, Coalville, Kamas, Oakley, Francis and Henefer. Residents interested in running for office must file in person at the municipal offices of the city in which they live. More information can be found on each municipality’s website.
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Our view: Parkites who haven’t yet decided who to vote for in the municipal election — and even those who have — will want to pay close attention over the next few weeks as the candidates are slated to appear at a handful of public events.