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Legislative Platform Guides Park City's Efforts On Capitol Hill


A few days into the Utah Legislature’s 2020 general session, the Park City Council will consider its guiding principles for navigating Capitol Hill. 

Park City Manager Matt Dias says not a day goes by during the 45-day legislative session where the city isn’t asked to weigh in on a bill or policy issue. Dias says there isn’t enough time to come to council with each request, and that’s where the city’s legislative platform provides guidance to city leaders and lobbyists. It outlines what the city generally opposes and supports.

“It's pretty simple," Dias said. "It's no unfunded mandates; protect our revenues; make sure that local representation and local control are preserved at all times, but it enables people like myself, it enables city councilmembers and the mayor to work with the legislature and still conform to the underlying principles of city council.”

As assistant city manager, one of Dias’ responsibilities was legislative liaison for the city. Now that he’s city manager, Dias is still working on legislative relations. He’ll provide a report to the city council every week during the session.

On top of Dias’ role, the city also employs its own lobbyist and has worked with lobbyists for 20 years. Dias says the lobbyist’s role is different from his own in that they’re totally immersed in the legislature

“This is their primary function, and they’re there every single day, day in and out, and has much deeper and closer contacts with the legislators than we do," Dias said. "So when we need to have a meeting with the legislature, when a particular senator or house representative has questions for us, helping us testify, prepare testimony, prepare talking points, it's been a great resource for us.”

Dias says the city is looking out for legislation related to land-use authority; sustainability issues; nightly rentals; and e-bike regulations.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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