What kind of reputation does the Payson area want to project to outsiders? Do we want to be known as an area that deeply cares about rodeos and wrestling? Or do we also want to be known as a place that puts a priority on community and kids?
We can continue, as we have been, and host wonderful wrestling tournaments, world-class rodeos, and attract thousands of desert dwellers to our pristine, pine-covered Rim country, which makes real estate people happy.
Or, we can understand that we need a youth center in our community, and that costs money. And we can understand that our Payson-area teachers are grossly underpaid and that we need to vote on and pass an override election to attract and retain quality educators in Payson.
I've been a Rim-area homeowner and taxpayer for over 20 years. Never during these two decades did the electric, water, garbage or telephone companies ask my permission to raise my rates. I don't feel I ever benefited either directly or indirectly by having my rates raised by these companies.
I would not benefit directly if Payson increased taxes to build a youth center, nor would I benefit directly if I voted to pay our teachers a competitive wage.
I would benefit indirectly if we paid for a youth center and higher teacher salaries because these items would add value to our area, to our youth and to the educators we entrust with our kids.
I would gladly pay higher taxes so we could be known as an area that cares about kids, community, rodeos and wrestling, all on a priority basis.
Richard K. Meszar, Ed.D., Payson