The group, Citizens for Better Payson Government, is now circulating an open letter to Mayor Ken Murphy and his supporters, asking for the mayor’s resignation.
“We admire his public service, but he has become more of a negative,” said Don Crowley, one of the co-chairs of the group.
The group’s letter calls for the resignation for the good of the community, Murphy and his family. It also states the behavior of the mayor “reflects badly on Payson.”
The group wants to avoid a recall if possible. Crowley said such an election would be costly and it would divide the town more than it already is. Town Clerk Silvia Smith said the average cost of an election is $15,000, but one of the variables is the expense of the publicity pamphlet that must be published for an election.
Crowley said Murphy has contacted him directly, asking for a one-on-one meeting, “But he is not accountable to me any more than he is to his prayer group. He is accountable to the citizens of Payson. You can’t change tires on a moving vehicle.”
Murphy said he asked about a meeting with Crowley, “If he wants to talk to me.”
As for the mayor’s take on the campaign to get him to resign, “I think it’s premature. People should let me deal with the issues and then make a decision about me. It has been blown out of proportion, things are being taken out of context. There are rumors that are just rotten and ridiculous. People wanting to read it and feed into it is a big mistake.”
Crowley said there is no one in the group with aspirations of taking Murphy’s place.
He said people interested in adding their name to the letter for Murphy’s resignation can contact him at 472-7001.