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Mayor tapped to lead high-stakes Treasure negotiations

(Park Record) Mayor Dana Williams and Park City Councilwoman Liza Simpson -- a onetime high-ranking homeseller and a store manager on Main Street -- were tapped Thursday night to lead City Hall's upcoming Treasure negotiations with the Sweeney family, pivotal assignments that thrust the two into what will be closely watched talks with, potentially, tens of millions of dollars at stake.

Their positions on City Hall's negotiating team will be formalized later, and City Councilman Alex Butwinski was named the alternate. The City Councilors briefly discussed the two positions before agreeing to put the mayor and Simpson on the City Hall team. They will work closely with City Manager Tom Bakaly and Mark Harrington, the city attorney, during the talks with the Sweeneys.

Williams is in his third term as the mayor and was a real estate agent before being forced to relinquish a high-level position in a brokerage during the housing downturn. Simpson is a first-term City Councilwoman who works on Main Street.

"I don't know about confident. I'm hopeful" that the talks with the Sweeneys result in some sort of conservation deal for the Treasure land, the mayor said in an interview afterward, calling the upcoming negotiations "one of the biggest undertakings I've had since taking office."

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