Town Councilors Speak Out On Ballot Issues

Part 4

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In its continuing series on election issues, the Roundup asked the town's elected officials to give their thoughts on the ballot questions.

The town council was surveyed on September's special election issues to see how they felt about the three bond initiatives. All councilors responding to the survey said they would approve the general plan.

Mayor Ken Murphy did not wish to respond to the survey.

Councilor Dick Reese submitted a single-paragraph statement:

"The Council generally agreed with the committee of citizens who decided unanimously that each and all of the items to be contained in the bond issue represent timely, appropriate and economical investments in our community."

Public works bond initiative

This bond initiative allows for $4.5 million to improve, construct, reconstruct, and rehabilitate, the streets, avenues, alleys, highways, and sidewalks within the town; acquire, install, construct, and reconstruct street lighting, and signalization.

The majority of respondents said they are in favor of the public works bond initiative, which includes 12 street projects.

Dick Wolfe: "A great deal of time and effort went into the recommendations made by the (Citizens Capital Improvement Projects) committee and having attended most of the meetings, I agree with them. Those street projects will have a positive effect on our town's transportation system. Safety was a major concern of the committee and I concur."

Robert Henley: "I fully support the street projects and think our community safety, traffic flow and quality of life will be greatly enhanced if we approve the street bond issue. The estimated average property tax increase for property owners in Payson is $3 per month which is a small price to pay for these much needed street improvements."

Judy Buettner: "I will vote yes on public works. Payson streets are a priority. With passage of the bond issue, we can begin the process, over the next few years, of improving 12 street projects. The bonds will not be issued until the year the work will be done."

Barbara Brewer: "We are listening to our constituency by not raising taxes, but giving them the choice to say they want better streets by implementing the tax on their own to speed up the process. We will eventually get streets repaired or replaced as revenues permit."

Bryan Siverson: "Some of the streets in Payson are in dire need of repair and have been for a long time. The bond improvements will go a long way towards getting caught up from years of neglect."

Public safety bond initiative

This bond initiative is for $3.6 million to construct and equip a new fire station, remodel an existing fire station, acquire fire protection vehicles and for communication equipment for use by the town's police and fire departments.

Wolfe: "The antiquated communications system of our fire and police departments puts our citizens' safety at risk. We simply cannot risk the lives of our public safety personnel and our citizens any longer. We need to bring these two departments into the 21st century."

Henley: "(Voters) need to decide whether the public safety and parks and recreation issues are important enough to (them) to incur a very small increase in our sales tax."

Buettner: "I will vote yes on public safety. It is imperative that we bring our police and fire departments into the 21st century with modern technology. Our lives, and the lives of our law enforcement and fire personnel are at stake. The equipment they use now is antiquated."

Brewer: "This is always first and foremost. We expect our police and fire departments to perform with topnotch service and give them 20-year-old equipment and older to work with."

Siverson: "Public safety is the No. 1 concern for any town. We need to upgrade our antiquated communications system to provide emergency services in a timely manner. The bond also allows for the remodeling of the Main Street fire station and includes a future station in the east."

Parks and recreation bond initiative

This bond initiative provides $1.2 million to improve existing town parks and recreational facilities; to acquire and install synthetic turf at the Rumsey Park athletic field and a roof structure at the Payson Event Center.

Wolfe: "The improvements ... not only improve quality of life for our citizens, adults and children alike, but also would be a major step forward in enhancing our economy (covering event center) by providing an attractive venue for many revenue producing events."

Buettner: "I will vote yes on Parks and Recreation. The youth in Payson spend a great deal of time at Rumsey Park on the athletic fields. The artificial turf is the proper and most efficient cover for these fields. The Payson Event Center must be covered to provide a shaded arena for activities. By doing so, the town, or a private investor, can utilize it in a more profitable way, contributing to the town revenue."

Brewer: "Since we have no other industry other than tourism and our parks bring more people to town than any other amenities we have, let's support it! It generates revenues that support us. There are an incredible number of people who travel nationwide for various ball games for example. That is sales tax revenues and bed tax money that we use for the operations and improvements of our town."

Siverson: "... The park improvements will ... help to generate tourism revenue through baseball tournaments and other activities. As a businessman, I see the shade covering over the event center as an investment that will pay future dividends in sales tax to the town."

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