Friday, November 22, 2013

Park City Planning Commission

In Park City, the City Council is the most important and powerful group.  They make the real decisions for what the city does and doesn't do.  They are elected by whatever small portion of the populace shows up on voting day.  The Planning Commission is probably the second most important group.  Our town is so dependent on a mix of:

  • Mining history, including it's protected historic buildings
  • Winter and summer resorts
  • Full time residents
  • Tourists
  • Non-resort businesses
These things tend to tug in different directions, making it difficult to improve the town for locals, tourists and business all at once.  The planning commission is where a lot of that starts. Planning commission members are appointed by the mayor and the city council.

A few years ago I threw my name in the hat to fill a local planning commission vacancy.  I wasn't well connected and was just settling in as a full time resident.  I wasn't selected and certainly shouldn't have been.  Then a year or so ago, I tried again.  This time I knew more people and more people knew of me.  I still wasn't selected, but this time I was at least a moderate candidate.   Well, third time's the charm. This time I was chosen and I will start my four year term in January.

It should be a great learning opportunity for me, both the details of zoning and the broader happenings and government of Park City.

By the way, this is a PAID position.  I get $100 for each meeting and a pass to the local Park City rec center (the MARC).  Given how many hours the commission puts in, I think I am well below the average new employee at Burger King.

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