Since our last administration became so heavily involved with economic development and business activity, our town has continued to wander away from providing the basic needs of our existing citizens.
With water being such a great concern, one would think there should not be any more approvals of any kind of subdivisions. There are plenty of existing properties that have been approved for development, both privately owned parcels and those within existing subdivisions, to allow for a more gradual and natural amount of growth.
For a town to be attractive and successful, it needs to begin with a basic and solid foundation that would act as a magnet for the very type of business growth that doesn't need subsidies. As it is now, this is being bypassed by using available tax money, paid by the citizens, to accomplish the goals of a rather small influential group, while letting the necessary building blocks crumble with neglect.
All of this rhetoric that people hear about needing this development to provide more sales tax collection to use for the basics is nothing but pure hogwash. When most of the town tax money is used for incentives for economic development and related improvements, it will be in the very distant future before any of this promised funding will be available for the now failing and neglected infrastructure.
It is professed by those trying to advance their agendas for jobs that pay a "living wage" that they can achieve this by bringing in businesses that will accomplish this. So far, almost all the few jobs, that have been or might be created, pay wages less than a true "living wage." Some small business owners, especially in undesirable climates, will jump at the chance to relocate to Payson if given enough incentive (at taxpayer expense). All these matters should be handled by the Economic Development Corporation and/or the Chamber of Commerce, who both get quite a bit of funding from the town.
If this money was put into improvements necessary for building a model type town, private investors would be more likely tempted to invest in it as a area that has shown a recognition of what is really necessary to succeed in creating a rural community that has more than a natural attraction to offer.
A change is needed -- substantially more money needs to be invested in streets and sidewalks to improve the quality of the transportation system. Much more effort needs to be put forth to get a highway bypass south of Payson going east.
A major change in philosophy could be effective in neutralizing the obvious polarization in our community.
Jack Jasper, Payson