Not Against Community Center, Just The Way Things Get Done

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Editor:

I am writing this letter in regard to the recent remarks of Mr. Wilson, pertaining to the fact that I did not have the "facts" straight in a letter I submitted to the editor.

In February 2003, a friend and I went to a parks and recreation public meeting. We arrived a few minutes early and the door was locked. We knocked and tried to get in but could not. We checked the time and date to make sure we had the correct information. We waited 20-30 minutes when the door was unlocked from the inside, and we were invited in. After we sat down, a note was passed to the majority of the board; apparently, this note was not meant for us to see. I am inclined to believe this is against the open meeting rules and regulations. Besides all of this, after our arrival to the meeting, there was not too much talked about. Later, I obtained the minutes of the meeting. It seems that during the first part, behind a locked door, they discussed the feasibility study of the community center. This is just the kind of thing that brings total frustration to a community or town. Like we all know, and hopefully teach our children, if you have to sneak, that is the first indication something is wrong. It does not only happen in parks and rec., but in all of the departments.

I went to the corporate strategic planning meeting, held on Dec. 2, 2003, open to the public. After lunch, the mayor and council left. I asked Fred Carpenter if I could stay. He was very nice, but said "no." I assumed their discussion had to do with the strategic plan and wanted to listen in. I asked him why I couldn't stay, and if there were things they were discussing only they could hear. He, again, let me know the meeting was not open to the public with no explanation otherwise.

It isn't that I am personally against the community center. I am just against how we get things done, through the back door. We are not being dealt with straight forward. We cannot fully trust what is being said or done.

Let us remind our town, our elected officials, and our staff we do have the right to have an opinion different than theirs. That is why we have elections and vote.

Diana Sexton, Payson

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