Community Center Misquotes Challenged

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Editor:

This letter is to reinforce my position regarding the development and construction of a new community center in Payson. Furthermore, it is to clarify certain remarks attributed to me by others regarding funding sources for proposed community center.

First of all, I am firmly committed to pursue the development and construction of a new community center in Payson, because I believe that one is sorely needed. In my opinion, and that of others, the present Senior Citizens Center has just about reached its capacity, and with an ever increasing number of users, it will soon be inadequate to meet the needs of the community.

A new community center, to include and incorporate the operation of the present Senior Citizens Center, makes sense, not only from a practical point of view, but from a financial one as well. I shall continue to vigorously pursue achievement of this goal.

Secondly, it has been reported to me that certain remarks made by me at a recent hearing of the CIP Committee have been misrepresented. Those remarks had to do with potential funding sources for the new community center. It is being represented that I indicated "any funds that would be generated by selling the present Senior Citizens Center would be used to help pay for the new community center." I wish to make it perfectly clear that I, categorically, deny making such a statement. The only remark that I made regarding potential funding for a new community center was, and I quote verbatim, "I would sell or lease the 36-acre site south of town and apply that money to pay for about one-half of the new center. The town could then pay for the remainder with existing revenues, without raising taxes."

I would never make a statement about using funds as a result of the sale of the Senior Citizens Center to apply toward the construction of the proposed community center, for one reason, it makes no sense to commingle funds and thereby complicate ownership. The operation of the Senior Citizens Center is the exclusive business of the Board of Governors, and I would never take it upon myself to speak for them.

I have reviewed the article in the April 15 issue of the Payson Roundup where the results of that CIP Committee meeting were reported. There is absolutely no reference to me making any remarks regarding the use of Senior Citizen Center funds.

I take extreme exception that some are attempting to discourage this project by misrepresenting my remarks. I would be willing, in fact I desire, to appear before the Board or any other community organization to present and justify my position regarding this matter. As a citizen and former public servant of our town, I value my credibility and integrity, and wish only to enhance the quality of life for all our citizens. I firmly believe that the development and eventual construction of a comprehensive community center in Payson is the right and proper thing to do.

Ray Schum, Payson

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