Election 2000: Mayor, Council Candidates Announce Platforms

Advertisement

This March, voters will go to the polls to decide the future leadership for the Town of Payson. Three candidates will try to oust incumbent Vern Stiffler from the mayor's office, and four challengers will race two incumbents for seats on the town council.


The primary election is March 14; deadline for voter registration is 5 p.m. Feb. 14.


Requests for early voting are now being accepted by the Payson Town Clerk's office. The deadline to apply for early voting is 5 p.m. March 3.


Early voting ballots will be available as of Feb. 10, and any registered voter living within the town limits may apply.


Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 14 at the following locations:


District 1 (Precincts 1 and 3) --First Assembly of God Church, 1100 W. Lake Drive;


District 2 (Precincts 2, 6 and a portion of Star Valley) -- Payson Town Hall, 303 N. Beeline Highway;


District 3 (Precincts 7 and 8) --Arizona Public Service, 400 E. Longhorn Road;


District 4 (Precincts 4 and 5) -- The Inn of Payson, 801 N. Beeline Highway.


The following are brief candidate profiles with a synopsis of their positions on local issues.

VERN STIFFLER

A 20-year resident of Payson, Vernon M. Stiffler, 76, originally moved to the Rim country to open the local branch of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.


Stiffler graduated with a master's of business administration degree from Arizona State University. Throughout his career, he's worked for General Electric in various capacities in finance and management, and was employed by the State of Arizona for 12 years in budgeting, finance and management.


Stiffler was a past board member for the Rim Guidance Center, a past board member of the Tonto Community Concerts and a past board member of the Pinal/Gila Behavioral Health Association.


He has been mayor of Payson for four years and has served on the council in Payson for 5 1/2 years. He is seeking his third term in office.


Stiffler has been married to Iona E. Stiffler for 51 years. He has two children, Diana and Joan.


Q: Why are you running for mayor and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I enjoy the challenges and demands of being mayor of Payson. The recent councils have made Payson one of the best managed towns in the state of Arizona. I want to continue to see clean, competent government for our town.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: My 5 1/2 years as councilmember and four years' experience as mayor make me the best qualified candidate.


Q: How would you define your town-growth philosophy -- pro-growth or no-growth?


A: Controlled growth is my objective. In order to keep pace with infrastructure requirements, sufficient water supply, school facilities, etc., my objective is to control growth within a range of 3 percent to 5 percent per year. We are currently at approximately 3 percent. This is a manageable and acceptable range.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: Payson will be a safe place to live. Our small town image and attractiveness will still be a plus. We will have a theater. Payson will continue to be a caring community. Town government will be more responsive to its citizens. Parks and streets will see many improvements. The new library will be completed. We will be closer to a solution to our long-range water needs.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: 1) Finding new water sources. 2) Build new library with cash. 3) Five-year programs with funding for both streets and parks.

RAY SCHUM

Verda Lee Schum's husband of 55 years, Councilmember Ray Schum, is making his first run at the office of mayor.


Schum said he moved to Payson to enjoy his retirement years in a friendly, pleasant, alpine-type community.


Schum obtained his high school diploma in Dale, Indiana and completed over two years of college. He possesses a life certificate to teach business management in the California community college system.


He served for 26 years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of sergeant major. From there, he worked 24 years with the Deutsch Company as a leading designer and manufacturer of electrical connectors and held a top-level position as a personnel manager for 16 years.


Schum has been involved in such community organizations as the Community Blood Drive for six years, was co-sponsor of the flag pennant project, implemented "Santa Claus Lane" in the Town Hall complex, was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Community Food Bank for two years, in the Knights of Columbus for three years, in the Rim Country Rotary Club, member of the Elks Lodge, Library Friends and the Rim Country Museum, and senior vice commandant and past commandant of the Rim Country Detachment of the Marine Corps League.


In March 2000, Schum will have completed a four-year term as Payson council member. He has served as Payson's vice-mayor for a year, as president for two years of Payson Economic Development Corporation, a member of the Airport Advisory Board, and is an active member of the advisory board for building the new library.


The Schums have four children, Jodell Ann Murray, 53, Susan Hutchins, 48, James Michael Schum, 41, and Major John Matthew Schum.


Q: Why are you running for mayor and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I have the time, desire and knowledge to hold the position, and I wish to give back to the community what was so generously given to me during my lifetime. As an incumbent town councilmember, I am acutely aware of the current issues that face our town. I possess the corporate historical background knowledge of those issues and am prepared to address them as we move forward. My entire professional life has involved positions and situations which require leadership responsibility and high-level decision-making.


My cumulative life experiences define my professional qualifications. I possess the credentials to hold the office of mayor. I am able and willing to listen to all aspects of an issue and have the flexibility to adjust my position to achieve the highest quality result, in the best interests of all concerned.


I stand upon my record as town councilmember with respect to the issues we have faced over the past four years. I have and will continue to be conservative on our plans and policies as they relate to water. I shall continue to provide vigorous, but reasonable and logical support for our economic development efforts. Considering the above, I would strive to work closely with the town council, staff, civic organizations, the PEDC, the chamber of commerce, local business leaders, and our citizens to achieve the best for all who live and work in our town.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: The voters will decide who is the best candidate. I shall offer to the public my credentials and qualifications, along with my platform which remains essentially that as offered when I ran for town council. I have the time, desire and ability to serve the citizens of Payson.


Q: How would you define your town-growth philosophy --pro-growth or no-growth?


A: Neither. I believe that growth is inevitable in Payson. The completion of the Beeline Highway highlights the fact that Payson is now, and more and more becoming, a destination. We must accept that fact and direct it to our advantage.


In addition to other options available to us, we should examine economic development possibilities. Property currently zoned for commercial or industrial use should be marketed and the PEDC should continue to attract light, clean-type industry to our town. The building industry should be perpetuated by marketing the infill lots. In any rate, we must examine growth in light of our water posture as well as our other natural resources indigenous to our location. Any action we take must be in the best interests of all our citizens.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: We would have a vibrant economic community nestled in the forest with all the amenities of a modern city. Hopefully, we will discover alternative sources of water and all segments of our community -- to include the chamber of commerce, the PEDC, realtors, developers, business people and citizens --would support our economic development policies and plans. With more services available in Payson we will create jobs where locally earned capital will be spent locally; develop entrepreneurship and encourage small businesses to flourish; reduce the need to buy in the Valley, thereby increasing our own sales tax base; and achieve an acceptable balance of growth and available natural resources.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: Recognizing that all things are in a constant state of change, and that we will always be contending with issues related to water and growth, I would like to see: 1) Some advancement toward the equation that seeks a solution to the problem of affordable housing. 2) The completion of the new library; continued activity at the new rodeo grounds, leading to covering the arena for year-round events; and completion of the master plan for Rumsey Park. 3) Once action begins on the above, we should then aggressively begin street improvement throughout town.

STEVE LANYI

No information was available for mayoral candidate Steve Lanyi at press time.

JACK JASPER

Jack L. Jasper, 73, has been married to Dorothy for 51 years, has two children, Steve, 50, and Greg, 49. Jasper grew up in California and has been living in Payson for 11 1/2 years because of its small-town atmosphere. He graduated from Banning High School in Wilmington, Calif.

Having no prior political experience, Jasper is making his first run at public office.


Q: Why are you running for mayor and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: To better serve the common people. As a candidate for mayor, I would like to give my basic views on what a model government should provide.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: Good judgment and common sense.

Q: How would you define your town-growth philosophy? Pro-growth or no-growth?


A: Controlled growth. The average citizen's needs must be given a higher priority than future growth issues that benefit those who are involved.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: More priorities given to the average citizen. There are many long-neglected deficiencies that should be responsibly corrected in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for all of our citizens.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: Water, growth and roads. I am an advocate of a changing budgetary system that will provide a fair and equitable allocation of funds that will benefit the average citizen's quality of life. This has been missing in recent years as the primary focus of funding and manpower has been for capital projects related to future growth. A change in direction is needed if this town is to have a government of, by and for the people and be a model instead of a clone of another mislead community.

BARBARA BREWER

As an incumbent councilmember, Barbara Brewer is seeking her second term in office.


Brewer, 51, moved to Payson nearly 29 years ago to be near friends. Previously, she lived in Michigan for 13 years and Phoenix for 10.


Brewer attended college at Eastern Arizona College. She has been a cosmetologist for 30 years. She has also done clerical work for the state of Arizona and for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Brewer is a member of the Library Friends of Payson, formerly of Payson Womans Club and Payson Pilots Association. She is currently the first vice-chair of the Gila County Republican Committee and president of the Northern Gila Republican Women.


She has been married to Sam for 19 1/2 years. She has one daughter, Amy.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I am running because I would like to continue some of the projects I've been working on in my present term as town councilmember, such as implementation of the affordable housing project. I would like to see Adopt-a-Street program in full swing and the continuation of street improvement.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: I'm the best candidate because I have experience in the office and I have spent a lot of time learning about the problems of the town that need to be addressed. I have the desire to continue working hard for my constituency and I appreciate being able to serve the community.


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy -- pro-growth or no-growth?


A: The Town of Payson is going to grow, no matter what, so the town needs to use its ordinances and laws to help the growth of the town to be desirable for people of all ages.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: Payson will hopefully encourage industry that will bring jobs to the working people. I foresee a healthy community financially.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: The most important issues facing Payson are the need for water research and development. I would like to see us become a partner with the county. The Cibola Water Development stands as a pertinent issue. Street improvement, the finalization of the moving of the rodeo grounds and the development of two ball fields at Rumsey Park.

JACK MONSCHEIN

Also an incumbent, Jack Monschein is seeking his second term on the Payson Town Council.


Monschein grew up in Staunton, Il. He moved to Payson 28 years ago after he was transferred by the Highway Patrol. After attending Phoenix College, Monschein worked for the Highway Patrol (now Department of Public Safety) for 24 years. He is in the National Law Enforcement Communications Hall of Fame


He also served as the Payson town manager for 14 years and served a term on the council beginning in 1976.


Monschein has been married for 52 years to Betty Ann.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I'm running because I think I owe it to the people. I've been town manager for 14 years and I think it's time to pay them back.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: I don't know if I'm the best candidate. I'm just trying to help the people of Payson, but I won't say that I am the best."


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy -- pro-growth or no-growth?


A: I want growth controlled and managed by the town council and the citizens it represents.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: I hope that we have more ball diamonds for the kids to grow up with. I want another fire station on the east side of town and I hope we have an overabundance of water.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: I would also like to see more money spent on roads. I think there is only one issue that is most important, however, and that is we need to have adequate water.

HILDA CRAWFORD

Hilda M. Crawford, 58, has been married to Richard L. Crawford for 34 years. She has four children: Denise, 42, Deanne, 38, Chuck, 36, and Sherry, 29.


Crawford lived in Vienna, Austria until the age of 12 and then moved to New York City. She has been living in Payson for three years. She was attracted to the town because of its small-town atmosphere within easy access to a metropolitan area.


She took college courses in accounting. Crawford worked in the accounting department at the Ford and Cadillac dealers, did accounting at a dental office for three years and performed accounting for student body funds for the Tustin Unified School District. She is a member of Payson 2020, a former member of the Airport Advisory Committee and treasurer of Payson North Unit 4A.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: After serving on the airport board, citizens of Payson have contacted me with much encouragement. As a member of the town council, it will give me a chance to serve and utilize my accounting background to benefit the people of the community. I find that some monies spent have not been directed toward the needs of the current taxpaying citizens.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: An early retirement, which allows an enormous amount of time to investigate any future projects involving taxpayer monies. Will these projects benefit the current citizens or benefit the interest of others? I will be available by phone or e-mail to answer questions to keep the public informed.


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy --pro-growth or no-growth?


A: As a participant in the 1997 2020 Payson Land Use Plan, I believe that slow and sensible growth accomplishes the best results. Water, of course, is the key to the growth of any town or city; current citizens of Payson must always take priority. I do not believe in the philosophy of 'When we build it, they will come.' My philosophy is 'When the need arises,' and 'when they come, let them help build it.'


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: Needs and wants of the residents and their well-being come first. Street repairs, drainage ditches and other infrastructure are all in working order for local inhabitants. No current residents' tax money was spent on anything to accommodate the interests of others.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: Insist on a more detailed report to the public regarding the spending of tax money. Concentrate on the needs of our local people. Examine the pending project list of the town manager and staff.

When voting for the need of an issue at hand, somehow it will eventually touch the lives of those who in some way have cultivated this area and those who maintain it. It's good to vote the heart, because one's duty is to all the citizens of Payson; no rubber stamping or political correctness votes.

RUBY FINNEY

Ruby P. Finney, 76, has been divorced for 27 years and has two children.

An Oklahoma native, Finney grew up in Texas and New Mexico. She has been living in Payson for six years and moved here because of the quality of life, the rural atmosphere and the environment.

Finishing high school, she worked for 10 years in advertising, three years working with the county, 25 years bookkeeping, was self-employed doing income tax practice.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: To effect change in the town's direction and use of our tax money.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: I have absolutely no conflict of interest and want only the best future for Payson.


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy --pro-growth or no-growth?


A: Neither -- moderate controlled growth as infrastructure permits.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: Local streets will be in good repair, the library will be completed and used by everyone, Southeast Loop Road will be on drawing board, and town council will serve all residents and be problem solvers, not adversaries.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: 1) Water, as always, is number one. The town must preserve and protect the existing water supply for current residents. No exceptions for commercial projects should be made. We need a firmly enforced 'new water' ordinance. Special interest projects must not be given special treatment.


2) First priority is to resolve the needs of current residents. Spending every available dollar for development is the poorest kind of planning. Payson's infrastructure is deteriorating and the established areas of town show the lack of attention. Residents deserve a well maintained town. Capital projects should be delayed until current needs are met.


3) Town ordinances need a thorough review. They should be rewritten to be enforceable. One example is the tree ordinance, which is simply ignored. Ordinances should be written with specific consequences (fines) if not followed. Add staff if necessary to enforce the stronger ordinances.


Let's keep Payson unique.

BRYAN SIVERSON

Bryan Lee Siverson, 43, has been married to Pamela Kay for 19 years. He has five children: Jordan, 18, Sara, 16, Max, 9, Elden, 7, and Henry, 5.


Siverson was raised in Ventura, Calif., and Scottsdale. He has lived in Payson for 16 years and came here to open his travel agency. Siverson went two years to Scottsdale Community College. He is a five-year veteran of the U.S.N. Hotel Management, worked 16 years as a small business owner at the Rim Travel Service and is co-owner of Payson Adventures 4x4 Tours.


He has been a member of the Zane Grey Kiwanis Club for 15 years, and in 1989,

he was the president of the club. Siverson has been a board member of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and was president in 1999.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I'm running for town council because I love our town and I care about our future. My goals are to help create a diversified, well planned community that provides a healthy quality of life for all of its citizens.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: My background as a small business-owner and my community service experience will be an asset to our town government. I also have the patience and people skills that are necessary to develop a positive and progressive attitude to town hall.


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy -- pro-growth or no-growth?


A: We need to offer our citizens the opportunities that planned growth will bring, but not at the expense of our current residents' lifestyles. A no-growth philosophy will create higher taxes and limited opportunities for our families.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: Payson will provide expanded opportunities for all of our citizens with a broader tax base, more affordable housing and better paying jobs. With this, we should be looking at lower taxes and a better infrastructure for our citizens. We will have successfully managed our water resources and increased our storage capacity.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: Water, growth and economic development. We need to manage water, plan growth and diversify our economy.

DICK WOLFE

Richard and Marilyn Wolfe moved to Payson eight years ago in order to escape the stress and problems of the big city.


He was chairman of the Payson Planning and Zoning, chairman of the Green Valley Redevelopment Committee, and a member of the Payson Choral Society.


Years before becoming a Rim country resident, Wolfe attended San Diego Community College and took numerous law enforcement and FBI courses. Wolfe is the past president of the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards, appointed by President Reagan to the National Manufactured Housing Council, a certified peace officer, a former police officer and a Navy veteran.


Wolfe, 66, has been married to Marilyn for 13 years. He has four children; Don Wolfe, 45, Bob Wolfe, 43, Lori Waechter, 38, and Jim Waechter, 36.


Q: Why are you running for council and what do you hope to accomplish if you win?


A: I am concerned about the future of our town, and have a vision for a renewed Payson. We need to rise above the bickering that is marking our town, moving forward with a clearly understood plan. We must initiate a program of planned economic development which will provide a broader tax base and better paying jobs for the families needed to service our community.


Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?


A: I can bring to the council my extensive experience and leadership abilities. I am energetic and thorough, and will spend whatever time it takes working for the benefit of our citizens.


Q: How would you define your growth philosophy -- pro-growth or no-growth?


A: The issue is not so clear cut as to divide everyone's philosophy between 'growth and no-growth.' The answer lies between the two. Growth is going to continue whether we want it or not. Town services and amenities we all expect must be paid from taxes, and if they are not supported by sales taxes, they will have to come from increased property tax. This is not acceptable to me. The key is to manage our growth, yet encourage economic development through an aggressive program to bring in light industry and new businesses.


Q: Under your leadership, what will Payson be like in four years?


A: With a well-planned program for economic growth, we can expect a healthier community, able to support all ages of our population; better jobs for our young people, keeping them in Payson; improved streets and sidewalks and other necessities. Our historic Main Street will be vital, making Payson a destination.


Q: What are the three most important issues the council needs to address in the next two years?


A: 1) Seek new sources of water, while maintaining a strong conservation program.

2) Create a strong economic development program with incentives for light industry and businesses.


3) Support the efforts in the Green Valley/Main Street Redevelopment Area and complete the new rodeo arena.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.