Monday night, July 8, our town council met in a special open session to consider the need for one-on-one interviews with the applicants who would like to become our new, full-time town manager. They agreed the need existed and they voted to do just that. I thoroughly agree. This is a major step and the right decision requires all information that can be made available to our councilmembers.
In addition, the council heard a plea from Mike Harper, chairman of the board for our local chamber of commerce, and from Bob Ware, executive director of the same. The idea was to inform the council of the tremendous loss of business that our local merchants have suffered since the closing of the forest, and the dire straits a lot of them are in. Mr. Ware delivered the bulk of the presentation, and anyone who was present at the council meeting or watching it on television would certainly have been impressed. Mr. Ware had done an outstanding job of getting his facts and figures together, and he made it obvious that something has to be done immediately to keep Payson's economy from slipping any further down the drain. After all, if our local businesses aren't doing any business, our tax base shrinks and we all suffer. The obvious answer is a short-term advertising campaign in the Valley to let the people know we're not on fire, and there are many things to see and do in the Rim country. The council agreed.
We are fortunate to have the resources to dip into in this time of emergency, and fortunate to have an outstanding town council who understands the situation and votes unanimously to support this emergency need. Perhaps now, Payson and the surrounding area can salvage the rest of the summer season when the people in the Valley are made aware that we are here and anxious for them to come up the mountain and have fun.
Buck Horn, Payson