Chamber Volunteer Ousted For Expressing Opinion Still Calls Payson 'Friendliest Town'

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Editor:

As a result of (my) guest commentary published in the Aug. 4 edition of the Payson Roundup, I received a letter in the mail the next day from the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer stating, "The policies of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce are determined by the board of directors and it is quite obvious that you have found a great deal of problem with these policies and have decided that you cannot support them."

The letter further stated, "... it is therefore, the unanimous decision of the executive committee that your volunteer service to this organization can no longer continue."

I was warned this would happen and fully expected it.

Someone there is getting a lot of exercise jumping to conclusions, because nowhere in that letter did I say I would not support them. I just disagreed with them.

I disagree with the president of the United States, but he has not stripped me of my citizenship.

I served 20 years in the U.S. armed forces and God knows that I did not see eye-to-eye with them, but I enforced their policies.

I have been a friend of some of the members of this board for many years. This will not make any difference in the way I look upon (them) as friends. I only hope that (they) can see through all of this to still call me (their) friend.

I would like to thank all the people of the community who called and supported me for what I wrote.

I would like to thank the past five chamber managers and the one CEO, board members, staff and volunteers whom I have worked with over the past eight years for making them some of the most enjoyable years of my life.

I have done all I could to help the merchants and the town grow and make Payson a better place to live.

I still call Payson, "The friendliest town in Arizona."

So with this, I say farewell to my days as a volunteer and supporter of the organizations and the town of Payson. I will fade out of the Payson volunteer scene, and go my own way.

Al Ayers, Payson

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