Candidates Make Bid For Payson Constable

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Sam Brewer - Republican

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Sam Brewer

Sam Brewer, husband of Payson Mayor Barbara Brewer, said he has had his eye on the job of constable since he was a Gila County sheriff's deputy back in 1994.

Brewer, who has been running his 24-hour towing business since 2001, said he wants to return to public service.

"I believe I am the only candidate with a law enforcement background," Brewer said. "With the nature of this job, I think it is important to have that experience."

Brewer said the job of constable often involves serving papers to people who are in bad or uncomfortable predicaments whether it be an eviction or picking up a piece of property they think belongs to them which doesn't.

"It's an adverse situation -- anything can happen," Brewer said. "Law enforcement training helps you with that."

Brewer said he is well aware of the big commitment the job requires.

"It's not a glamorous job but it is an important job," Brewer said. "It's going to require a minimum of 40 hours a week. There's a lot of driving involved and a lot of tracking people down."

Brewer said what makes a good constable is someone willing to work hard, keep good records and has a good rapport with law enforcement agencies and the courts.

"I have a good rapport with people," Brewer said. "Even people I arrested when I was a deputy greet me with respect when I see them. But, what's important is that I am the most qualified candidate."

Roger Freeman - Democrat

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Roger Freeman

Roger Freeman spent 40 years in management for Boeing Corporation.

"I figured my management skills and my people skills that I learned in the aircraft industry would be exactly what is needed with the constable position," Freeman said. "You interface with the judges, attorneys and with the public."

After retirement Freeman and his wife, Jo, moved to Payson from Southern California a year and a half ago.

"We came here and joined the Optimists, became active in the Presbyterian Church and are also captains for our Neighborhood Block Watch," Freeman said. "With all that, I still didn't feel like I was contributing enough to the community."

When Freeman met up with other Democrats in Payson, he learned the constable position was open and decided to run.

Freeman said he doesn't believe a law enforcement background is necessary for the job of constable, but said he is trained in using firearms if necessary.

"I have always been a sportsman and I have a permit to carry (a firearm)," Freeman said. "We have the full backing of Sheriff (John) Armer, so if more training is required, he'll be there."

Freeman says he's ready to put in the long hours required of the constable and looks forward to getting to know Rim country better.

"I think people should vote for me because of my experience with management and my people skills," Freeman said. "... And because I'm a Democrat"

The candidate below was eliminated in the 2004 primary election

Gail Palmateer - Republican incumbent

Gila County Constable Gail Palmateer wants to keep the job she loves for another term.

Palmateer was former constable Eddie Armer's chief clerk and deputy, and when he fell ill in 2003, she took on many of his duties until he retired in January of 2004.

County Supervisor Ron Christensen appointed Palmateer acting constable while the Board of Supervisors chose a replacement for Armer. In February 2004, she beat out 30 other applicants to get the job of constable.

"You have to be energetic and passionate about this job," Palmateer said. "You need to be flexible because you are a public servant and are called on to help people with all kinds of different issues."

Palmateer said her main duty is to serve documents from any recognized court, attorney or competent authority -- meaning she delivers court notices such as a summons to people's homes.

"It is not a law enforcement position -- it is a civil division," Palmateer said. "The area I serve comprises 52 small communities and goes from Roosevelt Lake to the Rim. I live in my truck."

Palmateer said she has received firearms training in case she has to defend herself, but said she has never had a problem.

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Gail Palmateer

"When you look for a problem, you will find it," Palmateer said. "Most of the time, people just want help understanding what they are being served with. I have evicted many people and never had a problem. I don't know whether it is because I am a woman or just my personality -- I am not perceived as a threat to people. I have a job to do and I am going to get it done. I get cooperation because people see me as someone who will not cause them harm."

Palmateer is aware of the enormous responsibility she has as constable.

"You really have to know a lot about civil law," Palmateer said. "You have to know what you are serving because if you do it wrong, it could destroy a case. Working as a civil clerk in the justice court was the biggest help to me in doing this job."

Palmateer said she works an average of 55 hours a week and is always on call if her services are needed. She will now be assisting the Payson Police Department with civil standbys so that officers can spend their time on criminal matters.

"Constable is really a behind-the-scenes job that requires a lot of work," Palmateer said. "If you're looking for the title or the money -- that won't carry you through. You have to love the job."

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