New Council Sworn Into Office

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As the Payson Town Council turned to a new chapter last week, members took time to look back and forward.

Outgoing Mayor Ray Schum, along with departing council members Hoby Herron and Jim Spencer presented formal farewells. Herron's was via a letter from Bend, Ore., where he has relocated, read by Interim Town Manager Kelly Udall.

"Based on the number of people who became angry with me, I did a pretty good job. We have issues and challenges, but we can overcome them by working together," Spencer said.

Schum read from prepared remarks.

"Walking off this dais tonight will be one of the most difficult things I've ever done. ... I entered town government six years ago based on a personal belief that successful citizens owe their communities a portion of their talents ... During the past six years, the challenges were significant and many. Likewise, our achievements and accomplishments were many ... No one individual can claim sole credit."

He said he and his wife, Lee, will be traveling through the summer, returning to Payson in the fall. He said he plans to become actively involved in economic development, Main Street.

After being sworn in, Mayor Ken Murphy said unity and teamwork will be what gets the community through the tough times.

"We make the best decisions we can with the information we have at hand at the time. ... Honesty and facts are what we need to base our decisions on," Murphy said.

Council member Judy Buettner said she will work to give the police and fire departments all the support they need.

Council member Robert Henley said he wants to work with the staff and residents to help Payson move ahead.

"This is a very important responsibility. I will treat it with respect. It is a serious commitment," Council member Dick Reese said.

Council member Barbara Brewer was appointed vice mayor for the Payson Town Council at the June 13 meeting.

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