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.