If you were to cast your votes for town leaders right now, on what would you base your decisions?
Would it be the things you've heard about the candidates from friends and neighbors? Would it be the impression you get from their political signs and advertising? Perhaps the news features in the newspaper or on the radio have given you some idea about these individuals.
These are all valid avenues on which to form an opinion, but not the most complete strategy to make your best judgment about leadership ability. Unless you have allowed every candidate to speak to you about the issues and their ideas -- you are still making an unbalanced guess.
On Tuesday, March 7, we will have an opportunity to hear all 10 candidates speak to us from the stage of the Payson High School auditorium. At this one event, they can be compared, distinguished and set apart as they participate in a debate sponsored by the Payson High School speech and debate team.
If you ask any debate team member, they will tell you how important it is to be able to think on your feet and present yourself professionally. Payson needs leaders who can represent our town in all civic settings, not just in the council chambers. They must be able to negotiate the best deals with other government agencies. They must have the necessary skills to garner consensus. They need to know how to communicate and direct the staff to get things done.
At the Roundup, we do our best to provide information that is fair and balanced about the candidates. Our recent two-part candidate quiz was designed to give you an at-a-glance look at the candidates and how they stand on important issues facing our community. But even the best news articles are limited and two dimensional and cannot give you the emotional connection that a live debate offers.
Tuesday night, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Payson High School auditorium, is a great opportunity to know who you are voting for and why.