It's Time To Shift Political Power To Northern Gila County

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It's time for a change.

The early history of Gila County indicates that right on up until about a decade ago, the southern part of the county was dominant in everything but timber. The northern part of the county had more timber, cooler summers, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. But, as far as population, there was no doubt that the southern part of the county had a much higher population.

There was, of course, good reason for southern Gila County to have the most people it offered the most jobs. While northern Gila County was mostly rural, offering either low-paying ranching or low-paying timber-related jobs, southern Gila County was big-time mining. This provided a much larger concentration of better-paying mining jobs and the other peripheral jobs associated with mining.

And, of course, where the most people were, and where the biggest tax base was, is where the political power would be.

For the whole time that Gila County has existed, all politics have been in Globe. But today, things are different. Today the mining industry is on the decline. Many of the jobs in southern Gila County have disappeared and may never return. Today the population in Globe, Miami and Claypool is declining while the population in Payson, Pine, Strawberry and other northern Gila County towns is increasing, and will continue to increase.

Just the mere fact that northern Gila County already has a larger population, is the reason that it also now can provide the larger share of the tax base.

I see this election as a perfect opportunity for the residents of northern Gila County to exercise our freedom from our politicians in the south and vote for at least a little local representation.

Phyliss Windle, Payson

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