Many of us gripe about things in our community. Perhaps you think the School Board members could have handled the bond election better. Maybe you think all our leaders do is talk about fixing transportation but never do anything. Possibly you don’t like the way the dog issue has been handled. It Could be you believe that staying in the Mountain Accord was a fatal mistake for the county. The list of potential gripes goes on and on.
I’ll be the first to admit, it is much easier to gripe than to actually do something about it. Yet, nothing significant was ever changed by doing very little. So, with that in mind, I IMPLORE YOU TO RUN FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICE in 2016.
Local positions up for election in 2016 are:
- Four (out of five) County Council seats (you can live anywhere in the county)
- Three (out of five) Park City School Board seats (If you live pretty much anywhere south of I-80 and East of Pinebrook in the Park City School District Boundaries your are eligible to run this time)
Unfortunately there are no City Council positions up for grabs this year. While the positions, up for grabs, may not sound as sexy as the Park City City Council, the Park City School Board and County Council are two local bodies that may impact you the most. Most people in our community don’t actually live in the true Park City limits, they live in the Snyderville Basin, which is impacted heavily by County Council decisions. If you have a child in school, then you know how important the School Board is. If you don’t have a child in school, take a look at your property tax statement and you’ll see that 60% of your property taxes goes to our local schools. So yes, the School Board is likely important to you too.
So, what sort of qualifications do you need to have? That’s the great part. You don’t need to be a lawyer, a lifetime politician, or a brain surgeon to serve. Most people would be happy if you just cared deeply about our community, were willing to try hard, and were a good decision maker.
If you were to ask me what I wanted, I would add to that… someone that is willing to make their own decisions and stand against the herd (when necessary). If you are just going to go along with everyone, every time, then why do we need you in office? We might as well just leave the position empty and not pay for it. However if you are willing to make up your own mind, can explain your position, even if it is contrary to others views, we will be all better off in the long run.
Hopefully, some of you are considering the journey. If so, you need to know that deadlines for filing for candidacy are rapidly approaching. County Council filing is available from March 11th to March 17th (5PM). School Board filing is from now through March 17th (5PM). If you even think you might be mildly interested, we’d urge you to start strongly considering it.
One side note is that this is the first year, for the County Council, where your candidacy doesn’t have to be approved by a political party in order to get on the Primary Ballot. You simply need to collect some signatures. This is a big step for freedom in our selection process. No longer can someone be prevented from being on the ballot by a small number of people that run a political party.
The really interesting thing is that a majority of the seats on both the School Board and County Council are up for election. So, this year we could see a dramatic shake up in both groups. Therefore, it’s important that if you feel you have something to offer, that you apply. You could really make a difference.
I believe we are at an inflection point in the Snyderville Basin. With regard to the schools, decisions need to be made about how we both prepare our children for a more competitive global environment and how we facilitate that through our facilities, teachers, and programs. With regard to our county, there are so many issues to be addressed. Vail. East-side development. Mountain Accord. High Paying Jobs. Dogs. Growth. Traffic. I could go on and on.
There are big issues to figure out and we as a community need your voice. So, again, please consider throwing your hat in the ring. Would there be anything better than to have 3 or 4 candidates vying in a primary for every seat? No. Choice and debate is always good.
If anyone has questions about the School Board or County Council and what they do, etc., feel free to email me. Having attended a number of meetings, I am happy to share my opinion on it. If you’d rather get an official opinion on it from people who have actually held the positions, I’m sure either of the current chairpersons of the School Board (Tanya Knauer) and County Council (Kim Carson) would be more than happy to provide you with an overview of what being on the board or council is really like. They are both very nice people and I’m sure they would be happy to share their experiences with you.
So, if you are interested, what do you do? Let’s take the School Board first. For the School Board, you would file with Summit County Clerk’s Office in Coalville. If you have questions about that, you can call the Clerk’s office at 435-336-3203.
For the County Council you have a couple of options. If you want to go through the normal political process, you can contact the Summit County Republican Party by emailing . They will put you in touch with the Summit County Republican Party Chairperson who will help you out. On the Democrat side, you could contact Glenn Wright at and I’m sure he will be able to help you navigate the process, too.
You can also contact the County Clerk’s office directly at 435-336-3203 and they will let you know what needs to be done.
As has been the case for many years, the Park City and Summit County areas are very desirable places to live. I, for one, feel very lucky to live here. To ensure that this continues to be a great place, we need the best leadership possible. We at the Park Rag feel strongly that there are so many people in our community, with so much to offer. We hope you will consider running for School Board or County Council.