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HOUSING COSTS, CONCENTRATION ARE TOP ISSUES

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The area's escalating cost of living and an ongoing push by developers to build as many houses as possible are the political themes of the year in Summit County.

Though two of three seats on the county commission are up for grabs, Tuesday's primary involves just one - incumbent Ron Perry squaring off against Ruth Wagner, a Park City attorney, for the Democratic nomination. The winner will face independent Sally Elliott, a former Park City councilwoman, and Republican Tom Flinder, a former commissioner, in November.The other seat will go to either Democrat Gary Weiss, a county planning commission member, or Republican Jim Soter, who lost his renomination bid in 1990 by seven votes.

"My focus was and still is growth management," said Perry. The former county assessor hasn't made many friends in the development community during his first term in office but receives accolades from many for helping enact one of the nation's strictest land-use codes.

Wagner says she wants to do something for middle-income people.

"For teachers, firemen, policemen, there should be affordable housing commensurate with their income," she said, adding that jobs outside the service industry need to be developed, too.