Town Budget

Comments

Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Watched the video on town budget and was sick at my stomach when it was over. what is the budget committee and council thinking with? Not thier brains. Last on the list but first on mine. Why does the Mayor want to get rid of the Fire Marshall? He is one of the most vital employees of the town. He has the education and experince that we need for a good fire dept. and safety of the town. Getting rid of the reserve firemen is another stupid idea., while giving other employees a 3% merit raise. How would you feel if your home or business was on fire and some of your family trapped inside? Who is there to put out the fire and save the people inside? 48 shifts are to long, what is wrong with 24 hour shifts? Why was a new fire station built if there won't be firemen there? Does the council ever think ahead more than a month? The council was given a raise a few years back, why not pay them a $100. a month instead of what they are being paid? That would give some money back to the town for some good use. Some towns in Ariz. do not pay thier council anything. They serve as public servents to help thier towns. There are to many give aways in Payson for no good purpose. $36,000 to the Chamber of commerce. they should be self supporting and do something to help the members and town.
$20,000 to the Natural Bridge. It was self supporting while privately owned.

You want to put in new street lights on Main St. Why ? Put in new light bulbs in the ones that are there. When they were put in we had perfectly good lights that people were able to walk down the street at night, but someone decided to fix that. Don't keep trying to fix things that aren't broken. What would the cost be?

How many studies have been done and paid for on Bonita St.? Isn't there anyone working for the town that can do these studies? If not maybe they are in the wrong job and should be replaced.

Parks and street employees should be working on parks and streets not the event center. One year something is done there and then changed the next year. A practice arena built then taken down and changed. A hole dug at the north end of the property for a lake then dirt hauled in to fill it for parking.

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 7 months ago

Pat, You should see the Gila County Budget. Approximately 50% goes to the jail system. Does this mean that they are taking our money to lock us up? Are all the jails privatized or considering privatization? 100, 000 for the Law Library? Almost nothing for children? Most perplexing.

How many officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Does everyone agree with the new budget and what the town is doing to thier employees. Your taxes on your house are also going to be raised. Does that get your attention?

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Barbara Rasmussen 1 year, 7 months ago

I too was very upset over the last budget meeting. I do not understand why the Mayor has decided to ask for the Fire Marshall position to be done away with. It is a very important and vital rank in the Fire Service for Payson. Getting rid of the Reserve program is also a big mistake as far as I am concerned. By eliminating both of these the Town of Payson will be taking a huge step backwards. They want growth but who will be here to decide the growth is done correctly and codes are followed and enforced? Payson is far better off with a person like Robert Lockhart as our Fire Marshall. He has extensive knowledge and experience and he strives to do his job with the utmost professionalism to keep the citizens of Payson safe. I certainly hope that the Town Council does not follow the recommendations and keeps Robert Lockhart here. The people of Payson need to come together and voice their concern over any decision that will affect their safety and their lives.

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Barbara Rasmussen 1 year, 7 months ago

So where are all of the readers of this blog? I am surprised no one has posted any reply on here. These 2 items being considered by the Town Council will affect not only the citizens of Payson but property as well. If the Reserve Program for Paid on Call Firefighters is done away with there will be a shortage of firefighters to respond to calls when regular crews are off duty. If there is a catastrophic fire. These men and women already work 48 hour shifts and are they to be expected to work 72 hour shifts? People need to wake up and let our Mayor and Town Council know that it is not acceptable to get rid of this vital part of Public Safety for the residents of Payson. You can never say well it won't happen to me because it can and does everyday across the U.S.

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 7 months ago

Barbara, I read a most disturbing book a few years ago about the fire management scene in Arizona, I will let you know the title when I can find it, but I think is was by Jayne Peace Pyle. There is an excellent article about the fires in our area (AZ Republic about a year ago.) From memory, I can tell you approximately 40% of the Rim has been destroyed over 10 years! Our trees and property are in real jeopardy.

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 7 months ago

Barbara, What industry benefits the most by forest destruction? Did you know that America has a population of 310mil people and we have a population of 350mil cows? Why is beef so cheep? Would you be surprised if I told you that we grow more food for cows than humans? We won't even get into all the subsidies.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe if I put it on Tom's string the people will read it or else they just don't give a damn.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 7 months ago

There are predictions being bandied about that this will be the worst wildfire season ever. That being said, I will go along with Pat in her question as to what the budget committee and the council are thinking with.

I also agree with Barbara. Robert Lockhart is a tremendous asset to this town; and his knowledge and expertise are vital to our increased safe growth.

As for doing away with the reserve program...are they serious?? Our Firefighters are stretched pretty thin as it is. Doing away with their extra help is ridiculous.

Barbara's final sentence "You can never say well it won't happen to me because it can and does everyday across the U.S.", is more accurate than most know. I personally have been in the position of watching the house next door to mine go up in flames. I probably called 911 3 or 4 times, because while it is just a few minutes between the first call and the arrival of the first fire truck, it feels like eons. There are few feelings so sickening as watching someone's home and all of their belongings destroyed in mere minutes. Watching the flames lick at the trees that border and are on your property. Being told that you cannot go in to your own home, until the fire is contained. Having your entire cul-de-sac, as well as the alleyway that backs up to our houses, blocked by fire trucks and hoses and fire fighters, and police officers; and multitudes of lookie loos.

In my estimation, those firefighters needed every single person that was on hand, and they worked together like a well built and oiled machine.

I add my voice of concern to your's, Pat and Barbara...what in the world is the council and the budget committee thinking???

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 7 months ago

Kim, Thinking requires knowledge, without knowledge people are "just pawns in the game of life." Per, the Mongo character in Blazing Saddles.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

People are blaming Mr. Lockhart for thier business closing because they can't bring it up to code in a short time. That is crap. Look to building dept. for delays and inspections. If they had been built right in the first place there wouldn't be problems now.
When Payson built thier storage bldg. on or near Aero st. a few years ago they did not put in fire sprinklers but were requiring private business to do it. Wonder if it was ever done?

We bought the Punkin Center bar after it burned in Tonto Basin. Had to clean out all the fire damage and rebuild it. Parts of the concrete floor and a couple of walls. We opened for business about 80 days later. We had county inspectors and the Fire chief in Tonto looking over our shoulder almost every day and then the health dept. Most restaurants in town wouldn't pass a real health inspection. I know it is county.

The fire dept. could save money by not taking calls for paramedics. A lot of people call them for a cut finger. Cheaper than going to ER. Think of the money that would save on gas and equipment.

The fire dept. does things for the citizens of Payson besides put out fires. They do thier own cleaning of equipment the fire houses and living quarters. Make inspections of buildings. They don't just sit and read a book or watch TV when not fighting fires. The fire dept. is the one that needs more employees and raises. Not all the assistants in the town offices that sit around and visit.

I don't know about the budget committee but some of the council didn't know the fire fighters are on 48 hour shifts. Maybe some of them should try doing that.

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don evans 1 year, 7 months ago

Pat, I think you may have hit on a great idea. No more dual status duty for our firefighters for called for medical services. UNLESS no contracted ambulance /paramedics are available to respond to a called for medical reason. That would save a ton of money. I'll bet the FD spends much more time and resources responding to medical calls than they do actual fires. And, in the end, if a person needs transport to the hospital, the ambulance company takes and Emergency treats them anyway. The ambulance company also responds to the same medical calls as the FD???? The scare sell to the public is the response time. What are Payson Town limits, maybe six miles square? And the ambulance company up here sit's right in the middle of it. I believe they have two ambulances and crews available most days. I say keep some Fire personnel certified as paramedics, but drop the policy of providing routine medical response services. How many times per month do they respond to the private care facility's for a patient who is being monitored by certified nurses? They just call the FD, who then calls the contracted ambulance company should they need to go to the Payson Hospital for an emergency. So much for the response time to save a life pitch.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

The ambulance companies don't have paramedics in all of thier ambulances if any. Did you know that? I was sent to Mesa from the Payson ER to Banner Baywood Heart Hospital by ambulance. There was a driver and one woman in the back with me. I ask her if she was a paramedic and was told no. So all she could do was sit and watch me. I had a pacemaker placed when I got to the hospital. Comforting thought there was no paramedic. I don't know why the ambulances always come to a house call with the FD if they aren't called to transport. $$$

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 7 months ago

Paramedics would cost the executives too much money. Who ever said that ambulances had to have paramedics? Why are they operating under that illusion?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Robbin, With out a paramedic you might as well drive them to the hospital your self. A paramedic has had a lot more training and can do things for a sick or injured person than a EMT or LPN or whatever it is the ambulance has in there. Why pay $3000 or $4000 for a trip in a rough riding ambulance tied down and a rude driver that won't slow down when asked to. Have you ever ridden in one of the ambulances up here?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Don Evans, Was reading back thru the posts and something in one of yours caught my eyes.

"UNLESS no contracted ambulance /paramedics are available to respond to a called for medical reason."

Who are the ambulance companies contracted with, and are they paid for just sitting around waiting to chase the fire trucks and paramedics we have and are paying?

If the town has a contract with them we are really being over charged for the calls they make. Why should the town have a contract with them? It isn't the towns responsibilty to get people to a medical facility. The town pays them and then the ambulance co. bills the person they transport. Is that right?

Insurance billed $1800. to transport a student from the HS to the hospital for a pain in thier side?

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Pat Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Just read a comment that the Town Manager said there were 5 Fire Marshalls living here that contracted out to do inspections in other towns. Maybe she would give us the names and we could check them out. Like thier education, experience and certifications. How much they are paid. However I don't think a Fire marshall postion is a part time job. His job isn't only to do inspections. The one we have isn't allowed to do his job. Think what would happen with one that didn't have the full time job and didn't really care what happens. Check out what happened when the ammunition place was being built. Glad I don't have a business or home near it.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 6 months ago

Does anyone out there know who these 5 fire marshalls are? The inspections they do must be expensive to keep 5 of them busy and making a good salary.

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 6 months ago

Who or what gets more tax subside money? 1.) Cows or 2.) Fire Fighters? Which one has more rights in the State of Arizona? Would you rather your tax dollars go to pay for fire fighters or cattle ranchers? Another question: Is there any gold, copper or silver deposits in the Payson/Pine/Straw area?

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Robbin Flowers 1 year, 6 months ago

Who is the insurance company for the bond that was just issued against p/s?

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don evans 1 year, 6 months ago

FYI on the Payson Fire & Police Departments Ok, at this point I'll just say I heard this. That Payson will soon create a New position called something like Town Public Safety Services Administrator: This single individual will oversee and manage both the Police Department and Fire Department. Effectively doing away with the Two Department chief positions, and bringing them under the supervision of the single individual. You can guess the Town's fiscal argument for making such a move. I hope this is not true.

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Barbara Rasmussen 1 year, 6 months ago

Don: In one aspect that has already occurred. The Chief of Police has already moved into that position for reasons unknown to most people and one can only surmise the true reasoning. Even though Chief deMasi has efficiently run his department for many years. And also never mind in that over 90% failure rate of the cities and towns that this move has been tried in.There is so much information that never gets out to the public.

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