I recently became aware of some controversy in the Payson community regarding Mayor Ken Murphy. It is apparently common knowledge that the mayor is taking some heat for some "supposed" comments and/or actions at the Ox Bow bar during the big rodeo weekend.
I was a patron at the Ox Bow that evening and happened to be in close proximity to Ken during the time he was there as well. I would like to go on record as saying that at no time did Ken use any obscene language to anyone, and at no time did he act in an unprofessional manner.
My observation of that weekend at the Ox Bow was that the police department, the sheriff's department and the fire department were unfairly targeting that establishment and looking to find some reason to cause a problem for the owners and the patrons.
At some times during that weekend, there were more police and fire officers in the bar area than there were patrons. It was not only intimidating, but it was a ridiculous show of authority. And then, when one left the premises, there were always at least 5 to 10 police cars waiting outside the bar, looking to arrest whomever they could.
That, in my mind, is harrassment.
Here is a new couple to the Payson area, having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bar and restaurant complex and then have to endure the actions of the authorities which will keep customers away. You can talk about the "history" of the Ox Bow and how it was known as a trouble spot with previous owners. That is no reason for the police to target one establishment like they did that weekend.
Now, back to Mayor Murphy.If he needs someone to support his actions that evening in question at the Ox Bow, just call me. I believe anything he did that evening was exactly what he and everyone else should have done asked "what the heck is going on here?"
Jack Lundeen , Payson