Democratic Process Was Missing From Council Meeting



Sept. 27, I attended a town council meeting along with many other local citizens. In fact, it was pretty much a packed house, which speaks well of the community.

I attended that meeting at the request of Amy von Somogyi, who is trying to save the ducks and geese in Green Valley Park. Since I have experience raising ducks and geese, and because we recently moved here from the Eugene, Ore. area where these waterfowl are protected by local ordinances, I agreed to address the town council to help in her efforts.

What I observed during the meeting was a lot of lip service paid to the concept of democracy. What I did not see, was a democratic process actually working.

As I understand it, the very definition of democracy is that "the will of the majority shall rule." That is not what is happening here.

Oh sure, several people, including myself, were allowed to express our thoughts on the issue, with one gentleman trying to persuade the audience that we would very soon be dropping like flies from an "epidemic" of e. coli caused by these creatures a concept I know for a fact is nonsense.

In the end, the will of the council, which reflects the will of the minority, prevailed, and therefore the ducks and geese will not enjoy a protected environment in the community of Payson. What happened is a sad commentary on both the mind set of some of the citizens of Payson and the practice of democracy in this community.

Had the council considered the two petitions presented to them with about 350 signatures and then applied the principles of democracy, they would have been compelled to carry out the will of the majority and enact ordinances affording these creatures the protection the majority seeks to provide.

May I suggest that the Town Council reconsider and hold an open public hearing on this issue, and then make a final decision based truly on "the will of the people" whom they serve?

Thank you for allowing a new resident of this beautiful community to use the forum you provide.

Jim Estess

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