Third candidate Bill Ciraco enters the race for Park City Council
By TownLift // Will Scadden,2023-06-02
PARK CITY, Utah – The Park City City Council race gained another candidate. Bill Ciraco recently announced his candidacy to run for one of the three vacant City Council seats. Ciraco will be competing against Bob Sertner and Betsy Wallace , who both announced their candidacy in May, along with several other individuals.
Park City will hold municipal elections on November 7, 2023, during which three new City Council members will be elected. There will likely be a primary election held on August 15, 2023, if there are more candidates running than are open seats. With Ciraco’s recent announcement, three candidates are already running for the three open seats.
Ciraco graduated from Brown University with a degree in business economics and was a member of the university’s football and baseball teams. After graduation, Ciraco moved to New York City, where he would spend the next thirty years working at a number of financial firms. He is originally from a small town on Long Island, West Hampton Beach, and despite living and working in New York City, Ciraco and his family bought a home in his hometown in 2003.
Ciraco would serve two years on the city’s planning commission in West Hampton Beach. “After going away to college and then coming back to the New York area to work as a professional, I looked for opportunities to serve my hometown because when you grew up in a small community, that’s part of your DNA. That stays with you for the rest of your life. Even if you live in a big city, in your 20s or 30s, that small town DNA stays with you,” Ciraco said.
Ciraco’s journey to Park City began in 1987 when he first came with his family on a ski vacation. After his first visit, Ciraco says a ‘part of me always stayed in Park City,’ and for the next thirty years, Ciraco and his wife, Alyse Forcellina, would make several trips before deciding to move here full time in 2018. His family now resides full time in Park City, and his daughter attends PCHS.
Both Ciraco and his wife have been active in the Park City community. He serves as the President of his home owners association, a member of the Park City Noon Rotary, sits on the Park City High School Community Council, and is a member of this year’s Park City leadership class. His wife serves on the board of the People’s Health Clinic.
Ciraco hopes to utilize his experiences as a member of a small town’s planning commission as well as a financial analyst during his time on the Park City Council, “With that planning experience, you’re under the pressure of development and money flowing into town. I learned a lot about what is smart planning and what may look like smart planning, but may have some unintended consequences,” Ciraco said. “All of those experiences collectively inform the way I think about some of these problems, and the way I look for solutions for some of these problems and my willingness to think outside of the box to look for new ways to solve problems that we have not been able to solve yet.”
One of the ways Ciraco thinks outside the box is an idea he has to curb ski traffic in the winter time. If elected to City Council, Ciraco will advocate for a train system, running from Park City down to Salt Lake City. “I’ve been advocating at both Council meetings and Planning Commission meetings for the City to try thinking outside of the box, specifically, the idea of using trains to get some to get some of the folks into town rather than 1,000s of cars.”
“In the context of the state contemplating spending $550 million on a gondola up little Cottonwood Canyon, for a lot less money than that we could have a train system in Park City from Kimball into Park City and from Quinn’s Junction/Richardson flat into Park City for less money than that would cost, and it would also probably have seven or eight times the service that the gondola will have.”
Besides the train idea, Ciraco is also passionate about several other issues, including protecting the connectivity and ability of wildlife to move throughout town, building affordable housing for seasonal and full-time workers, as well as strengthening the tourism industry to support small businesses.
“I feel like we have an opportunity to actually create a place in the community with a density of workforce housing, that actually creates a home for people so that they’re not just put randomly up in 50 units,” Ciraco said about affordable housing in Park City. “I feel like we want to give people a place to live, where they have community support where they have neighbors that support them, neighbors that understand their needs, and where they have some services.”
“I’m looking at opportunities within the city limits and there is an opportunity potentially, on the city limits. There’s 1000 acre piece of parcel that I think the city really needs to look at and think about using that as the focus for our workforce housing effort. It’s super close to the hospital and the hospital is in dire need of workforce housing. It’s super close to Summit County Health headquarters. I think the strategy of throwing it anywhere around town and seeing where it will stick is not going to serve us. I want to be focused and targeted about that,” he said.
Instead of paying the fee to enter his name onto the ballot, Ciraco will be out collecting 100 signatures prior to officially registering. Qualified individuals may complete a Declaration of Candidacy at the City Recorder’s office at the Park City Hall, 445 Marsac Avenue, Park City, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7, 2023.
“People have asked, who am I running against? My answer is, I’m running against no one. I’m running for Park City. I’m running for the residents, the people of Park City that call this place home,” he said. “My focus will be not only on making sure that our tourism business can support the community the way it has been, I want to make sure that the community can support the residents that live here.”
“I feel like we need to judge people based on the ideas that they bring to the table, their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get involved and, and to do the hard work and not not be content with the status quo. And that’s really my motivation.”