Dear Hideout Community,

It’s the time of year when one reflects on the last 12 months and tries to put events in some

kind of perspective. As your Mayor, and as a Hideout resident who chooses to make my home

here, I can’t help but reflect on what has been a very difficult and divisive year.

On a National scale we have been dealing with a pandemic, and a Presidential election. These

are large events that create stress for all. I certainly hope that with the election over, and a

vaccine in view, we can begin to look forward with a bit less stress and a bit more hope.

On a local scale, your Town leadership explored the possibility of annexation for good reasons

that I believe have been overshadowed by diatribe and vitriol. There have been personal

attacks on individuals and their character, disparaging statements made about individuals

without any inkling of proof that the individuals are anything but upstanding citizens, and

efforts made by some to subvert the public process. “Zoom bombing” is illegal and does

nothing to help the citizenry learn about the annexation and make an informed decision.

There is a public process required by law for all annexations. I firmly believe your elected

Council members have followed the public process to the fullest extent of both the spirit and

the letter of the law. The process works and many of you have taken advantage of it to share

your voices regarding the annexation. We all encourage that process to continue.

In fact, the public process continues to work. A group of residents took the initiative to press

for a referendum, which will allow every registered voter in Hideout to cast their vote on

whether they want to continue the annexation or have it stop. You will ultimately decide!

Although some of you may believe that the way the law was modified which allowed us to

pursue the annexation was flawed, I personally and firmly believe that the annexation is a

unique opportunity for Hideout, and one that we should continue to pursue. Regardless of the

limited time that the annexation law was in place, it provided Hideout something that it may

never have again – a real seat at the table regarding regional planning and cooperation to

which the Town is committed. By being a municipality with land holdings in both Wasatch and

Summit Counties, we gain a voice that cannot be ignored. We are the only municipal entity

that is even attempting to influence what happens regarding future land use around the

Jordanelle. I implore you to keep this in mind as you consider your decision on the annexation.

Additionally, I believe the development we are considering is targeted at making the lives of

both Hideout and the surrounding Jordanelle residents easier, safer, and more practical. That

was and is our primary purpose in pursuing this annexation. We are looking to address better

connections to an integrated transportation network, reduce trips to Park City and Redstone for

typical everyday needs such as grocery shopping, address the long-distance challenge for our

public-school children, create a better and more integrated community with the addition of

trails and parks, incorporate housing that is more affordable and that will hopefully lead to a

broader demographic mix and, finally, create space to serve the aging elements of our

community. As a secondary consideration, the annexation and the associated development will

provide Hideout with a much-needed revenue source that will help mitigate the need for

continual tax increases. State statistics suggest that the revenue to municipalities from

commercial/retail businesses is 4 times greater than the property tax benefit.

As your Mayor, I encourage you to put Hideout first, and support the annexation. But the

choice is yours. The one thing we cannot allow to happen, however, is to have the annexation

process divide our community and destroy relationships. I encourage all of us to ask ourselves

whether we really want to be the kind of community that can’t appreciate our neighbors

because of their different viewpoint. We should not allow our differences to matter more than

our common desire to live in a community that we all enjoy, surrounded by neighbors who care

enough to try and make the place we live better year after year. We all moved here because

this area appeared to be special – caring, open, friendly, cooperative, and fun. I’d like to think

we are capable of keeping it that way.

I wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season, and a significantly better year in 2021.


Phil Rubin


December, 2020

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