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After a contentious election, remaining Park City councilors look toward a “different” future

Park City Chamber/Bureau
Councilor Max Doilney says this election is one of the most contentious he can remember in his lifetime in Park City.

With Park City’s election now in the rear-view mirror, the city will have a new mayor and three new councilors next year.

Come January, Park City’s council chambers are going to look different. Three of the six faces in the room will be new to the dais.

Councilors-elect Tana Toly and Jeremy Rubell are political newcomers, and a third councilor will also be appointed to serve out the remaining two years of Mayor-elect Nann Worel’s term on the council early next year.

On the flip side is who will be leaving office. In addition to Councilor Steve Joyce’s retirement, incumbents Mayor Andy Beerman and Councilor Tim Henney both lost their bids at reelection and will be taking their combined 22 years of experience in elected office with them.

Councilor Max Doilney tells KPCW he’s preparing for some big changes at city hall.

“I think it’s going to be quite a bit different," he says. "There’s a lot of experience walking out the door right now, and a lot of connections around the state that are walking out the door. I think our two new councilmembers are absolutely capable of getting up to speed, but I can say from experience that it’s taken a while to get comfortable in the role and understand how things come together.”

Doilney has been the most junior member of the council after taking office in early 2020, mere weeks before COVID-19 turned Park City upside down.

Doilney and Councilor Becca Gerber both publicly supported Beerman and Henney in the election, and cited their experience and institutional knowledge as key reasons for doing so.

Gerber says she and Worel spoke briefly at last Thursday’s council meeting, but have yet to meet at length to discuss how to move forward after an election that saw them on opposing sides.

Gerber says she spoke with many people over the past few months who opposed Beerman and Henney and felt like the city was acting too aggressively in places it didn’t belong -- namely in areas like affordable housing and social equity. She says there will likely be conversations with the new government about how to best approach these issues.

“I think we’re gonna have to have some conversations as some of the goals we’ve set come up about what our role is, and should we continue down the path," says Gerber. "We’ve been a very active council and we’ve taken on some really difficult tasks. We’ve bought a lot of open space, we’ve really talked about controlling growth, we talked about social equity and housing, and a lot of those things aren’t something that maybe a typical local government would be involved with.”

Both Gerber and Doilney are life-long Parkites, and will be joined by a third native in Toly come January.

Doilney says this election was one of the most contentious and personal he can remember in his lifetime in Park City. Personal attacks and accusations aimed at all the candidates were made across social media. He says he hopes the community can cool down after such an intense campaign season and give the new government some time to get down to business.

“I guess I would request that the community be patient, but they spoke quite clearly," Doilney says. "They liked what they heard and we have to respect that, so let’s get to work trying to figure out how to achieve the goals that we’ve had for a long time. If there’s a different approach to achieving those goals that the two new councilors plus one other who will be appointed have, then great.”

Gerber adds she is excited to work with her new colleagues and is looking forward to moving past the election and bringing the focus back on the community.