Thanks to only 42 votes, one bond issue -- Public Safety, was approved by registered Payson voters who chose to participate in the election.
This issue, which included funding a communications overhaul of the Police and Fire Departments, was likely the most compelling to voters, who feared that details of their 911 call could end up on a yellow sticky note.
The thought of how compromised our personal safety could be by our antiquated computer system hit close to home for everyone. The majority of voters agreed to pay a slightly higher sales tax for that increased security.
The Public Works initiative lost by 42 votes. Our chance to improve our streets now has eluded us by a very narrow margin.
The Public Works initiative which consisted of 12 street projects, lacked the drama of the yellow sticky note. Many would argue that some of the projects, such as the sidewalks on McLane, were just as important in terms of safety. Perhaps if a child walking home from school on the edge of the busy road had been struck by a car, the importance of this issue would have been as glaring as the sticky note.
Those who think this kind of money will magically appear in the town budget are sorely mistaken. We may just have to wait until roads are so bad we can no longer ignore or minimize the issue. By then the cost to repair them will be multiplied.
The Parks and Recreation issue was defeated by a larger margin by those who couldn't see the value of the initiative for our economy and our children.
The failure of two of the issues and the narrow victory of one is symptomatic of a public that remains distrustful of government, fails to understand the true cost of maintaining an infrastructure -- and cannot see an intrinsic value to something unless it is quantified in dollars.
The 15 citizens of the Capital Improvement Projects Committee volunteered hundreds of hours to carefully analyze the issues that were presented to voters. We have them to thank for the improved security that will result from their efforts.
Yet, to put that much work into the election and see two of the three get defeated, must be heartbreaking.
We want to thank them again for their service to our town and their fellow citizens.