After leaving his family behind in Payson to take a job in the Valley in January, Scott Flake was offered the job of economic development facilitator with the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation.
And he couldn't be happier that his weekend commutes to the Rim country are over.
"I love Payson," he said. "There's no place on earth I'd rather live."
In announcing the appointment, PREDC Chairman Russell Judd said Flake will be responsible for building a viable economic development program for northern Gila County. The PREDC is a nonprofit corporation funded by the Town of Payson and Gila County, and Flake will provide those two government entities with quarterly reports on his progress.
According to a press release issued by the PREDC, "this new program represents a significant level of cooperation between the government leadership of the Town of Payson, Gila County and the business community to improve the quality of life and (to build) a stronger economic foundation in the Rim country."
While he will report to the executive committee of the PREDC, Flake feels strongly about what Payson must not become.
"I definitely want to see Payson develop," Flake said. "But I love it for what it is and don't want to change the atmosphere that's there now.
"I don't want to see Payson turn into something that it's not."
Flake originally moved to Payson from Parker two years ago when he accepted the position of CableVision general manager. When it became apparent to him the company was going to eliminate that position, he accepted a similar job with MediaCom, a cable company based in Apache Junction.
Hoping he would soon be able to return, Flake kept his house in the Rim country, and commuted on weekends to see his wife and four children. That arrangement proved even more difficult than he imagined.
"Since the first of the year, I've had a lot of time to weigh the pros and the cons, and there are a lot more cons to living down there," he said.
A major factor in Flake's selection, according to Judd, was the fact that he has proven himself an "active and resourceful leader."
During his tenure as general manager of CableVision, Flake worked closely with the town in developing that company's new headquarters on Bonita Street.
"While I was in Payson, we expanded cable operations considerably," he said. Besides 13 years of experience in the cable television industry, Flake noted that he has worked to develop business in several smaller communities.
His fondest hope is that his travels are finally over. "I love the climate. I love the people," he said. "And the best part is I start my new job on Monday."