Provision To Town Code A Distortion Of Majority-Rule System



Let me see if I have this right. The affirmative votes of four members (a simple majority) of our seven-member town council is normally all that is required to pass legislation that may affect everyone who lives in Payson. Yet, a six-vote super majority of the council is required to terminate the employment of one of the town's department heads.

Somewhere along the line, our "town fathers" apparently decided that protecting the job of a single town bureaucrat was more important than legislation that might end up costing the town millions of dollars.

An investigative reporter could perform a great service for the citizens of this community by researching and reporting how that piece of exceedingly egregious special-interest legislation got into the town code, and who the responsible parties were.

I don't think anyone who is aware of the excessive wrongs and hurts of the old political "spoils system" under which all public employees were subject (and likely) to being replaced when a new administration came into power would want to witness its return.

Civil service was instituted to recruit and retain good people in the public service by offering them a measure of job security in exchange for most likely working for less compensation than they might command in the private sector. Even the federal civil service system, however, doesn't cover the highest positions.

In the Payson area, where taken as a whole, government jobs are quite possibly more highly paid than comparable private positions, there is no justification for giving the people in those public jobs, particularly the very highest paid ones, a virtually rock-solid level of job protection not to be found in the private sector.

I don't know, and certainly have nothing against, any of the individuals occupying the affected positions. Rather, I consider the current provision of the town code which makes it possible for two council members to nullify the votes of the other five members to be an absurd and unwarranted distortion of the majority-rule American political system which has served the United States and its political subdivisions so well for so long.

Otis M. Trimble, Payson

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