Nearly every challenge facing Park City relates back to growth and quality of life. That is why a decade ago I ran on a platform of open space. Since then, I have played a key role in the purchase of Stoneridge (292 acres), Toll Canyon (781 acres, assist), Clark Ranch (340 acres), Old Ranch Hills (50 acres), Sommer (14 acres), Bonanza Flat (1500 acres), Treasure Hill (120 acres), and Armstrong SCP (15 acres); adding 3000+ acres and doubling the City’s open space. I also support new opportunities like protecting the Library Field, Urban Park Zones, and assisting our regional partners. I serve on the State’s Quality Growth Commission which last year protected 2248 acres, including 2 regionally significant projects in Wasatch and Summit County. Protecting open space is the ONLY true silver bullet for growth.
TRAFFIC & CONGESTION
If there is one thing Parkites can agree on, it’s a disdain for traffic. Park City is geographically constrained and plagued by too many cars, in too little space. We will not build our way out of traffic—we must be innovative and tactical. This is why I have been a vocal advocate for building a car-optional town with a strong focus on transit, walkability, and active transportation. I championed the electric buses, 224 BRT, e-bike share, and the (coming soon) addition of a park and ride and inbound transit lane for 248. I have pushed back against road expansions and fought to lower speed limits. Given a second term, I want to reinvigorate our walkability projects, expand neighborhood traffic mitigation, and take a hard look at aerial transportation.
In 2015 Park City residents, rose up and demanded City Council take more aggressive action on climate which led to one of North Americas most aggressive climate goals: net zero carbon and 100% renewable energy by 2030. In 2019, I helped lead a coalition that successfully passed HB411, trailblazing bi-partisan legislation to accelerate Utah’s transition to renewable energy. As we speak, construction is underway on the first project, an 80MW Elektron solar farm and 20 Utah Communities have joined us in ‘flipping the switch’ to renewables. Park City is the U.S. winner of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge because of our renewable work, our conservation efforts, our fleet electrification, and our soils sequestration projects. Alone, our efforts are a drop in the global bucket, but as innovators and leaders, we are proving what is possible, and inspiring communities across the world.
It’s long been challenging to find housing in Park City. Now, it’s nearly impossible. Only 15% of our workforce live in Park City and more than 60% of our homes are vacation homes. We’ve hit a tipping point where our social fabric is stretched dangerously thin. The free market is surging, and uninterested in building affordable housing. Because of this, the burden falls on local government and non-profits. Park City has a goal of 800 new units to meet needs across the spectrum. Since 2010, the City has built or bought 82 new housing units and secured 285 more units though development obligations--about half of that while I’ve been Mayor. Affordable housing may be the most expensive and politically fraught issue facing the City, but it needs committed and courageous leadership to succeed. There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing a family get their first home and an opportunity to live in the community where they work. In a second term, I hope to see a lot more of that!
Park City is largely (95%) built-out. Since most of our future pressures will be external, it is critical we work with our neighbors to plan as a region. Challenges like traffic, water, housing, and workforce do not limit themselves to lines on a map. Mayor Potter of Heber and I are lobbying for Wasatch and Summit Counties to work with Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) to launch a regional planning exercise. The Hideout conflict is just the first of many potential conflicts unless we take a more collaborative approach to plan and solve regional pressures. To be effective, you need the trust of your neighbors—I have this!
As Park City’s economy thrives, so do the disparities between our residents. As Mayor I have staunchly supported the community’s efforts to build equity and diversity in our community. I believe every resident should feel safe, welcome and valued, and have the same access to services and opportunities as their peers. This is difficult and sometimes controversial work, but we should lean in and embrace it. It will ultimately strengthen our community. If the City wants to be a leader in equity, we should begin with ourselves. I am particularly excited about PCMC’s internal efforts to self-examine, promote diversity and inclusion, and improve facility and services access to all our residents.
Our historic character gives us a sense of place and reminds us of our humble roots. For this reason, I have strongly supported our historic preservation programs, especially the current efforts to protect our historic mine structures. I was an early advocate for this on Council and pushed hard for the City to assist in the preservation of California Comstock. I also led the push for the City revise its historic grant program to include mine structures. Recently, I participated in the successful negotiations with Empire Pass/Wells Fargo/Deer Valley to generate new preservation funding and most notably, restore the Daly West Headframe.
ULCT (Utah League of Cities and Towns)
Utah Quality Growth Commission
Committee SLC-UT Olympic Bid Committee
Olympic Host Venues Committee
Summit County Council of Governments
Wasatch County Council of Governments
Mountainland Association of Governments
MT2030 (Mountain Towns 2030)
CAST (Colorado Area Ski Towns)
EPA’s Local Government Advisor Committee
Central Wasatch Commission
ON THE ISSUES
We need to ‘stop digging,’ literally and figuratively! Park City residents have ‘had it’ with relentless construction. I have a record of opposing growth: including the Film Studio, Hideout and the sprawling plan for Park City Heights. I’ve championed open space purchases to avoid development (like Treasure Hill) and density reductions (like Bonanza Park). Utah State law protects old entitlements; but we should grant no new entitlements without exceptional public benefit. My lens puts community character, over economic development. Whenever possible, we should look for opportunities to reduce density, mitigate traffic, and improve neighborhood compatibility.
A second Olympics would be the Utah Games--not the Park City Games--and may be coming to Utah whether Park City wants them or not. Currently, Park City has a ‘seat at the table' for the Olympic Bid which gives us a voice. The IOC is looking to 're-boot' the Winter Games to be less expensive, compact, less commercial, and focused on the athletes. The athletes are demanding the games be eco-friendly and more equitable. Utah is proposing to host an Olympics that is net-zero, athlete-centric, with existing facilities, and requires no public funding. Before we support a bid, Park City needs to have a deep community conversation about the pros and cons of another Games. When we do, I hope we will consider that winter sport is part of our local DNA and hosting an Olympics would be both a celebration of our mountain culture and an inspiration to our youth and aspiring athletes. We have many challenges, and pursuing a second Games could bolster Park City’s infrastructure, forge regionalism, and strongly align with our community values.
PROCESS & TRANSPARENCY
Accusation of bad process and transparency are political apparitions, not reality. Public engagement is at record levels--in English and Spanish. COVID left us all feeling isolated, and it opened new frontiers for digital access. Park City government rigorously follows a state-mandated legal, transparent, and public process for all its actions. The City is fallible and does make mistakes, but those mistakes are made in broad daylight and under public scrutiny. Not everyone agrees with all decisions, but that does not mean they were handled improperly. Disagreement is normal, disappointment is part of the job, but malfeasance is an accusation that should be substantiated or dropped.
Park City has a long history with mining related soils. Repository or not, we are stuck with this legacy and will continue to seek solutions. Public health needs to be the number one priority, and science should be a larger part of the conversation. The City needs to: 1) take its time; 2) provide the public with a comparison of all the options; and 3) continue to seek EPA assistance to assure the safe operation and management of Richardson Flats.
Park City has an aging population and needs to expand our support for our seniors. The City proposed a new facility for the Seniors, but was unable to find a location/plan to everyone’s satisfaction. I support the Seniors desire to stay in place. Going forward, I will push for the City and the County to work with the Seniors to expand programming and improve the current Senior Center.
JULY 4TH PARADE
Moving the parade off Sunday to July 2nd was to reduce crowds and keep it more local. COVID and over-tourism may have cramped our style this year, but July 4th doesn’t fall on Sunday again until 2027, so we have 6 years to debate what to do next time.
RACIAL EQUITY MURALS
The murals followed the normal City process for Main Street activations and all of City Council was informed and supportive!