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Park City

Planning commissioners emerge as frontrunners for open Park City Council seat

Park City Hall winter
Leslie Thatcher
A new Park City Councilor will be chosen on Thursday.

The Park City Council is formulating its short list to fill the remaining two years of the council term vacated by Mayor Nann Worel.

Mayor Nann Worel and Park City Councilors Max Doilney, Becca Gerber, Tana Toly, and Jeremy Rubell finished interviewing 17 applicants for the open seat Tuesday night. When the meeting ended, Worel asked the councilors who their top three picks were.

Current Park City Planning Commissioner Laura Suesser and Snyderville Planning Commissioner Ryan Dickey emerged as the clear favorites, topping the lists of Doilney, Gerber, and Toly.

Councilor Max Doilney pointed to Suesser’s and Dickey’s experience in local government as key factors in his decision-making process.

“The thing that comes to mind, I’ve had a lot of conversations about planning," Doilney said. "Having a planning background, I think, will be helpful for this particular council, considering what we have coming before us. The part about that I don’t like is I don’t like it when the tail wags the dog, and I don’t like us filling seats just because we have these huge developments coming in. I want the best person here, not just the best background for a private company that wants to do a huge development or whatever.” 

Suesser’s professional background is as a lawyer specializing in real estate development. Dickey’s background is also in real estate, and he’s the current president of Park City Rotary.

Former investment management professional William Ciraco also managed to crack the top three for Doilney, Gerber, and Rubell. Councilors said they were impressed by his grasp of local issues and ideas for the future given that he and his family only moved here in July of 2020.

Rubell said Ciraco’s newcomer status could be an asset to the council.

“I thought he represents sort of the newer crowd in Park City, which is something that would be beneficial to augment our team," he said "He really has the time also to give back and be passionate about it, which is something that I also think we need to kick around.”

Other applicants named as favorites by Toly and Rubell include former Park City School Board President Tanya Knauer, community activist and former city council candidate Ed Parigian, and Park City firefighter Henry Evans.

Worel, a former planning commissioner herself, said she would not weigh in on her preferences unless she becomes a tie-breaking vote, but said planning commission experience does give someone a different perspective. She also added that just because an applicant wasn’t named a favorite on Tuesday, that doesn’t eliminate them from being considered for the seat.

“This doesn’t mean that after you go to bed tonight, you wake up in the middle of the night, you don’t come up with another name on this list and say, ‘oh my gosh, why didn’t I put them in my top three?’" said Worel. "Certainly, there’s time for that on Thursday.”

The council and Worel will deliberate and appoint someone to the council seat at the end of Thursday’s council meeting. That meeting begins at 6pm.