How does discrimination feel? Ask Fred Lashley. Recently Fred applied for a use permit with the Town of Payson to operate a used car dealership on south Beeline surrounded by businesses such as a feed store, pawn shop, tire store, auto parts, transmission repair, and a gas station. Fred was told by five out of six (Payson Planning and Zoning commissioners) that his notably clean upstanding business would not be aesthetically up to par for the gateway to Payson.
Agreed. Used car dealerships do not have the best reputation. However to stereotype a man with an existing dealership in nearby Strawberry, is not only discrimination, it is telling anyone desiring to open a new business in Payson: "We don't think so."
Payson city officials admitted that they have no guidelines as to what kind of businesses they should allow in this area, but car sales, no matter how clean or appealing, does not fit in.
What says more about a community: a log-sided attractive 10-car, used car sign or one more vacancy?
Payson officials keep promising improved surroundings yet what have we seen? The Super Center.
We all agree that Payson needs guidance in growth. My question is, do we have the right people guiding us? Let's try to cut the politics we all dislike and develop a community of compromise, understanding and fairness.
W.D. Lashley, Jr., Pine