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Park City Council Member Dick Peek Tells Us the Public Opinion Doesn’t Matter — And He is Correct

During today’s Local News Hour on KPCW, City Council Member Dick Peek was discussing the Kimball Arts Center with Leslie Thatcher. He said, “We develop codes and ordinances and expect everyone to abide by them. If the public comes out and says they are against something. We don’t weigh that as a general item. We apply the code.”

As harsh as that seems, he is right. What the public says doesn’t matter. It’s the “law” that matters.

If you live in Old Town and Walmart wants to move in, your opinion, your neighbors’ opinions, or all of Old Town’s opinions don’t really matter at that instant. It’s what the Park City Development Code says that matters. If the Development Code and General Plan allow Walmart, it is gospel.

That is why the Development Code and General Plan matter so much. As Sun Tzu said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” We need to make sure our codes and plans match the public interest as much as possible because once they are in place, what people think doesn’t matter so much. This is why corporate bodies expend so much time and effort in shaping the development codes that they want. Once they do, the law is on their side.

With The Smartest Guys in the Room (aka Vail) now with us, this concept has never been as important.


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