"This shows how susceptible we are to the influx of drugs ... all it takes is money and knowing the right person."
Payson Police Department's special enforcement officer John Huffman, following the seizure of two pounds of cocaine and marijuana at a local motel
"Mr. Christensen is either a liar or he doesn't remember what we talked about...we'll find out which it is at a later date."
Mayoral candidate Jim White, regarding allegations he had said he would fire key town employees
"Ultimately they will either be in jail, be driven out of this area, or change their lifestyle. The choice is theirs."
Chief Gordon Gartner, referring to his stepped up enforcement against drug use and sales
"I would never do anything to embarrass the office of Mayor or the Town of Payson. I do like to dance, play guitar and banjo with local musicians, throw darts, shoot pool and play golf."
Mayoral Candidate Ken Murphy
"I think there is a 90 percent chance it will go to the voters in November."
Chuck Heron, on the issue of moving the county seat
"I was with friends I grew up with and we started drinking at nine in the morning and did not stop ... I consumed two-fifths of Jagermeister (liqueur) and smoked a couple of joints (marijuana)."
Statements made by Raymond Boelens following a jail house interview on charges of threatening the president and local law enforcement by telephone on Halloween night.
"In my opinion, I was dealing with the police department of Andy of Mayberry, only Andy was on vacation."
Detective Steve Johnson, referring to the Tucumcari police and their investigation of a stolen vehicle out of Payson
"When we first uncovered him, he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Within 40 seconds, he took a breath."
Diamond Star Fire Chief Gary Hatch, after uncovering Steve Graziano from a pile of cinders.
"My animals are old, they're dying, and I don't want to replace them. I've been here 22 years, and I can't keep going like I've been going. I'm 52 years old now. It's time to get out and either get ready for retirement or find a real job."
Payson Exotic Zoo owner-operator-chief tour guide Randy Ferry, announcing that, after 22 years, he would be closing his "wild animal orphanage."
"If I was compassionate before, I'm even more adamant about that now. You know, you can never quite appreciate what happens as much as when it happens to your own."
Payson pediatrician Dr. Dexter De Witt, whose 11-year-old daughter Sara was seriously injured in a Jan. 5 automobile accident
"... I was advised that several of the people I worked with quite closely and knew very well are missing and presumed to have perished."
Payson resident Donald Crowley, who once occupied an office in the World Trade Center's second tower with about 70 out of 172 former colleagues who died during the monolith's destruction
"If there's a fire in Rye, you don't call the fire department. You call the local bar and see if the fireman's sober enough to go to the fire ... When I am sober, I'm very quick on the response. I'll get there in a day or so. On one of my trucks I've got some hot dog holders, just in case I'm a little late. By the way, if we're gonna have a fire, we've got to have two weeks advance notice, and we don't do basements or second stories ..."
Don Garvin, Rye's one-man fire department
"I like it here sometimes, sometimes no. It's beautiful, but people drive like crazy here. They throw bottles out of their cars, you name it. It's a good thing they're not throwing grenades!"
Joe Moreno, aka "Joe in the Alley"
The most newsworthy quotes during 2001, perhaps, were those uttered by Payson Judge Pro Tem David Colby in a Nov. 27 interview with the Payson Roundup words which quickly prompted Colby's termination by Gila County Presiding Judge Robert Duber, an action that blazed across talk-radio and water-cooler debates all over the Rim country.
In that interview, Colby announced his candidacy for retiring Judge Edd Dawson's seat in the Gila County Superior Court; explained why he felt the county's new redistricting plan is unfair to his hometown; and suggested that one solution might be to replace Dawson with a Payson resident like himself.
"... They're going to field a candidate or two in Globe, and they won't be anywhere near as qualified as I am in terms of experience level, background and academic level, performance, any of those things. But they don't care they just want a Globe judge. If that happens, then I stay commissioner and life goes on and I'm not complaining. But this is not the kind of opportunity that comes up very often ... The redistricting plan that has been selected is not the plan that's most favorable to Payson in terms of the way it divides the vote, so what we can expect over the next ten years is that ... the demographic chasm between northern and southern Gila County is only going to get worse ... But we ... still have the power of the vote ... I would be local, and I would be demanding in putting resources up here. While Globe will not like me, they would have to respect me. ..."
Colby, in the original 11/27/2001 interview
"Judges don't have personal lives that they can express discriminatory or accusatory kinds of things."
Gila County Presiding Judge Duber on 12/4/2001, on why he fired Colby
"I am seeking a governor's nomination for an elected position. How can a judge who is to be voted by the voters be (accused of being) non-judicial by talking to the voters? How does that work? How can I be held to be doing something improper if I am simply talking to the people who might elect me? ... If the belief is that judges aren't supposed to be political, then why are we electing them? This is a democracy ... To say that it's inappropriate for the people running for that office to speak out is to say the public shouldn't be informed."
Colby responding to his termination, 12/4/2001
"Apparently the truth hurts ... Judge Duber's action is another example of the divisiveness and dirty politics from southern Gila County."
Town Councilmember Jim Spencer on Colby's firing, 12/4/2001