There are two misconceptions slithering in the gossip garden that need to be removed.
The one is a belief that the newspaper is unfairly promoting Jim White as the best candidate for mayor. This sentiment has been voiced by politically active individuals and business leaders who believe the staff of the Roundup is deliberately publishing damaging information about Ken Murphy or providing better ads and ad placement to White. This accusation continues to brew in public meetings and on the payson.com bulletin board.
The other belief is that the Roundup is unfairly promoting Ken Murphy for mayor. This misconception is voiced each time we publish a council story that mentions Murphy's name or contains the council member's photograph. Roundup readers holding this opinion claim evidence of our bias with each quote attributed to Murphy and even with his published military reservist promotion something we provide for all military personnel.
It has been my experience that people will find what they are looking for. If we look for the good news in a person or a newspaper we'll find it. If we look for conspiracy and fault, we'll find that instead. Whether our findings are real or imagined, embracing the negative is harmful to all involved especially when we pass it around like a virus.
My heartfelt hope is that we remember who we are during these final weeks of the election campaign. We are members of a small, close-knit community who should care about one another more than politics. Whether our neighbor is supporting Murphy or White shouldn't matter. I personally would hope that these two men and their supporters can finish the campaign in a way that would not leave a chasm so wide between them as to prevent reaching back for a hand of friendship.
In truth, no matter who wins, the new mayor will do his best to serve our town and will be accountable for his official actions. He will not act alone in deciding the town's direction or fate. He will be but one voice in a diverse group made up of seven duly elected individuals.