The Real Villain



We own property at the Airpark and have followed the noise issue closely. Jim is a hydrologist and NASA Astronaut Interviewee. Carolyn is a Family Practice physician.

Most pilots are not wealthy or pampered -- we just love airplanes. You may spend money on travel, nice cars, clothes or restaurants; we spend ours on our Piper. We vacation in Moab, drive a 1986 van, wear jeans, and eat at home.

We think pilots are heroes. Lost children are found by the Civil Air Patrol. Angel-Plane pilots fly children free for their medical treatment. When an airline reports a smoke plume, private pilots see if it poses a danger to Payson. Children interested in aviation get free rides as Young Eagles. Local pilots subsidize most of the airport's jobs.

We've heard the noise and are sympathetic with the Airpark residents. It is an obnoxious and continuous nuisance -- like a dog that barks all day long. Dog owners ignore the incessant barking, but it probably drives you nuts. That's how Airpark residents feel. Airport noise is intermittent and was expected (even loved!) by the pilots. The noise from The Door Stop was not. Light industry does not generate this level of noise.

Airpark owners purchased their land in good faith. They accepted all prior noise from the airport and nearby companies. They got nuisance noise when The Door Stop moved in. The Door Stop probably also negotiated in good faith. They worked to bring benefits to Payson. They got never-ending complaints.

The dummies are those who approved locating The Door Stop next to the Airpark. Perhaps The Door Stop misrepresented the amount of noise that it would generate. The town council certainly failed in its due diligence to determine the impact The Door Stop would have on Payson residents.

Politicians can make peoples' lives miserable, but are under little obligation to correct their errors and are loathe to admit them publicly. The guilty get off scot-free; the innocent are condemned by the decisions of the guilty.

Will we retire to the Airpark? The jury is still out. We're waiting to see how the council reacts. Payson will do fine without another hydrologist to address its water problems and without another female physician to care for its ill. In the meantime, we hope that the new mayor and council recognize that their decisions have consequences.

James J. Cullen, Ph.D., P.E., Carolyn J. McKelvie, M.D., Las Vegas, Nev.

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