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Where Did We Go Wrong?

by dustin sturges

I've asked myself this question millions of times as I watched the 10-story Marriott go up outside the house where I grew up. It took me the longest time to figure it out. Not that I think there's necessarily anything wrong with progress in general-all of this new crap is just going to make it more interesting when "the big one" hits the Wasatch Front. It's just that I grieve for the town I grew up in.

It's not the construction that's the problem. It's not even the transplanted residents that are the problem. It's the lack of community. I didn't realize it until I was out of the area. I was watching the news in California and some guy was talking about something "The City" did. I realized that I, and a lot of people, think of the city, state, and national government as "Them."

What happened to "we the people?" You never hear someone say, "Well I liked my ranch, but we figured the people in Las Vegas needed water, so we decided to annex my property and put a dam where my house was. No! The Government, that evil corporation that runs the country, screwed you!

This is an extreme example, and I don't know how to fix the problem on a national level. But I do know how to fix it in Park City. I suppose there was a public hearing on the Marriott hotels going up. And I know that the building that these hearings are held in can only hold a very small percentage of the city's population. Why would they hold it there? The only answer that I can come up with is that only a few people usually come. Why does no one come to events that decide the future of our community?

I think it's because the functions of Park City's government do not match the personality of our city. I think that if there's one unifying quality of Park City residents, it's that we like a good party. I'm not talking about the idiot Californian transplants that crash their cars the first time it snows every year. I'm also not talking about the dipshit ASC disciples from anywhere east of the Mississippi who sound like Jehovah's Witnesses when they tell you about Les Otten. I'm talking about the real locals. We've lived in this town for a long time. We know how to drive in the snow. We also know that Les Otten is just another shitbag, deep-pocket, land baron who will abandon Park West just as soon as he has defaced our town so much that even he can't tolerate living here.

I propose a new building process- one that fits our character a little bit better. "You want to build a hotel in Park City? It has to go to a vote." We will need you to secure the city park for a night. You will have to bring enough beer and food for seven thousand. You see, this town can't vote on an empty stomach. After we've eaten, you may pass around your ballots, and we'll all vote on it."

That is a government for the people, of the people, and by the people. That is the way a public forum should be- at least in Park City.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by the writers in Wild Utah may not necessarily reflect the views of the advertisers, the publisher or the editorial staff. Although he may or may not know Mr. Otten, Dustin Sturgis knows every squirrel trail at The Canyons.