We need to see the other side of the coin as far as jobs are concerned. There are people in town who are spreading ideas like "Payson needs good jobs," and "Payson's tax base needs more business," and "It is important that we bring in industry." New industry is being presented as a cure-all for Payson's woes and wishes. But, just like any cure-all, it has some possible side effects for our small town.
Some of these drawbacks have been researched and found valid by a professional community planning consultant by the name of Eben Fodor. He has written a book entitled "Better Not Bigger" which was recommended to me by former councilman Hoby Heron.
I am including a few statements from this book that might be informative for our residents and council. They are as follows:
- "Creating jobs sounds like a noble purpose that must certainly be worthy of our local tax dollars."
- "The more jobs we create in our community, the more people will move here to snap them up."
- "Job creation fuels growth and ultimately leads to a larger population of unemployed people."
- "Increasing development that leads to increasing population creates a demand for public services and infrastructure that is likely to offset any tax revenue gain."
- "The desire by the public to provide jobs and housing has lead to the use of subsidies in the form of economic development programs and publicly subsidized housing programs"
Creating new jobs may not be a bed of roses. Our energies and money need to be used to make Payson better, which includes a secure water supply, a huge street improvement program, and a firestorm protective zone around Payson. These three concerns should be the focus of our town's council.
There are other ways besides new industry to cure Payson's woes and wishes.
Remember, folks, when you can't water your tomatoes, blame it on economic development.
Bill Michaelis, Payson