Council Goes To Bat For People, Animals In Need

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Although the town is experiencing a tough budget year, it was reassuring to see that the town council continues to see the value of Payson's nonprofit organizations.

When councilors Judy Buettner, Robert Henley and Dick Reese convened as an ad hoc committee to consider funding for nonprofits, it was evident that humanitarian need in our town would not fall by the wayside in a time when county, state and federal governments have offered little sustenance.

Henley recognized the synergistic way that the organizations that assist people in crisis work. Women and children fleeing domestic violence stay at the Time Out Shelter. While they are in the shelter, they may want to pursue their GED through the Rim Country Literacy Program. When they leave the shelter, they may need low-income housing, or apply for a house built by Habitat for Humanity, or need help with utility bills from the Gila County Community Assistance Program.

How a town treats its abandoned animals is a measure of its compassion. It's comforting to see that our council understands the important role our humane society plays, and its dedication to finding loving homes for discarded pets.

Many of our low-income, homebound seniors depend on the Payson Senior Center's Meals on Wheels program. While the town may not be able to cover the center's losses due to inadequate county funding, committee members did the best they could to help it survive another year.

We praise the council for its continued support of local nonprofit organizations, and especially the three councilors who took the time to research these requests.

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