Chamber Needs New Guidelines For Picking A Manager

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To the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and anyone else interested in the economic development of Payson:

Those who refuse to learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. This pearl of wisdom could and should be heeded by the chamber. Criticism should always be of the constructive sort, so to those entrusted with the chamber's virtue, receive these words as they were intended.

I plead with you on behalf of all Paysonites: Whatever rationale you have used to select the last two chamber managers, abandon it. The results reflect the folly of your ways. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed and lives to live. We need help, not hype. Permit me to offer alternative guidelines.

Reality No. 1: We are a small town, that is apparently land locked and water locked. We are never going to be a metropolis. Thus, we really don't need a chamber manager to globally integrate our community into the cosmos. He or she doesn't really need a string of degrees proceeding their name or a 6-pound resume boasting of corporate conquests. We want a chamber manager who is eager and ambitious, not retired and looking for a place to coast. What is needed, I would bet, is someone who doesn't even know what a mission statement is, and who doesn't start each sentence with "I," or "Me," or "Let me explain."

Maybe we need a man or woman who isn't driven by ego. (Maybe we need) someone who wants to work, who spearheads initiatives to create and support events that improve the quality of our community things that bond us together, things that bring tourism and tourist dollars to town. What a concept!

Payson is to Arizona what Branson is to Missouri a recreational area. Bringing factories here is as dumb as trying to raise cactus in Florida. This is Payson the place people who live in the Valley get away to. It's cooler, it's greener, we have trees. Paradise just 87 miles up the Beeline. Come on up, have a good time, spend your money, take some pictures, drive safe on the way home. Come back when you need a fix of clean air, sweet water and small-town charm.

These are the parameters a chamber manager needs to work within. Be nice, shake hands, help business people be successful. Make the community a better place. Remember, it's the festivals, the antique shops, the rodeos, the neat gift shops, the cowboy culture, the museums and art galleries, the restaurants, green trees and camping that make people want to come here. If we, the small-business owners, are out of business, what will the attraction be? I bet there is a budding chamber manager right here. Remember, the slogan, "buy local" could apply to people, not just products.

Shakey Joe Harless, Payson

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