Mayor's Goal Is To Have Safe Holiday

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Editor:

The recent article in the Roundup unfairly characterized my comments and makes it appear as though I am opposed to DUI enforcement. I was not critical of the task force per se --imply we should address this problem using all available options.

I had two basic concerns. First, no one on the council or the town manager was briefed, notified or asked about our Payson's participation in these activities until we read about it in the Roundup. Certainly special enforcement will occur during the holidays. Should your elected representatives not be informed or consulted?

Secondly, I proposed, that in conjunction with enforcement, we should do several other things to accomplish the goal of safety. These include working with bars and restaurants to encourage designated drivers, public education, use of town resources to give rides, encourage public/private ventures to shuttle people, etc., etc. We are spending money on police overtime, court costs, jail fees, etc. Does it not make sense to spend a proportionate amount in other ways to accomplish the same goal? The shuttle at the casino certainly seems to be successful.

My personal goal and that of members of the public safety community is to have a safe holiday season. I simply propose a balance of positive options along with the enforcement option. I emphasized that position to your reporter, Kelly Crowley. I also emphasized that I have never opposed DUI enforcement.

Your inflammatory headline completely mislead your readers. Could it be you like that style of National Enquirer journalism? In addition, your "balanced" reporting includes statements from only one other councilmember and four officers from different law enforcement agencies.

Did you even consider my ideas? Did you ask the opinion of our local bar and restaurant owners regarding other options? Did you attempt to see what other communities are doing as alternatives to enforcement and still maintain safety? No you simply wanted to leave the impression that "once again Murphy slams the cops." That was not the case, Mr. Haddad and Ms Crowley, and you both know it.

The Roundup has no problem printing ads for alcohol sales at Bashas' and Safeway. He has no problem with ads for Fargo's, the Oxbow, Mazatzal Casino, Mad Dog and Mel's, etc. I suggest these bars and restaurants discontinue advertising in your paper and use the money for safe rides home for their patrons.

Kenneth P. Murphy, Mayor

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