Affordable Housing Worth Fighting For


Think for a moment about the guy who bags your groceries, or your favorite waitress at your favorite restaurant. Consider the store clerk who helps you locate the aisle where the AAA batteries are so cleverly hidden, and the teacher who helps your 13-year-old unlock the mysteries of algebra.

Now, try to imagine how they pay their rents or afford their mortgages in the Rim country, where salaries are low and housing costs are sky high.

It's not inconceivable that a day will come when these folks who love Payson exactly as much as you do won't be here to help you.

Restaurant owners who are trying to hire reliable waiters and waitresses have already encountered this problem. It's impossible to hire people who can't afford to live here. It's that simple.

The term affordable housing has been bandied around Payson for years, but only a couple of meaningful developments have materialized.

Now Payson's new town council has the opportunity to allow a developer to build 203 affordable homes near the Payson Municipal Airport.

A handful of aviation enthusiasts are protesting Mazatzal Mountain Air Park because they're worried their future neighbors will complain about the airplane noise and convince future leaders to close the airport. They're also worried about safety issues, but the fact is, all of their concerns can be overcome with smart planning.

Mazatzal Mountain Air Park has emerged as this council's first test. Most of the newly elected or re-elected members of the council ran on platforms that supported better-paying jobs and affordable housing.

Now is the time for the council to prove that it can't be swayed by special interests, and is working for the betterment of the entire community.

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