If image is important to you, this is not a good time to live in Mazatzal Mountain Air Park subdivision.
Residents of that upscale neighborhood are taking a PR pounding over the opposition of some to The Door Stop adding a third shift and/or expanding, and to the Payson Humane Society purchasing a few lots in the Sky Park industrial complex to build a new shelter.
Noise seems to be the big objection, although smell has also been mentioned in conjunction with the animals. This despite the fact that airplanes taking off are at least twice as noisy as The Door Stop, and that the shelter folks have a noiseless, odorless enclosed facility in mind. Not to mention the fact that each and every property owner was well aware of and acknowledged the existence of two "Hazards or Nuisances" -- that the subdivision was adjacent to Payson Airport and Sky Park Industrial Park -- prior to signing on the dotted line.
Fair or not, it comes off as a not-very-attractive combination of pettiness and elitism. And talk about noise pollution: One Roundup letter writer even suggested walling the subdivision off so the rest of us don't have to listen to all the whining.
As visions of lawyers, lawsuits and $660,000 homes dance across the Payson landscape, Mazatzal Mountain Air Park residents have to be hunkering down hoping the storm will pass. We have a better idea. The best way to turn negative publicity into positive is to become part of the solution instead of the problem. And from our perspective, it is difficult to imagine easier people to work with than Jim Hill, owner of The Door Stop, and Larry and Carol Stubbs, Lisa Boyle and the rest of the folks who have turned the Payson Humane Society into the wonderful operation it is today.
Why not appoint representatives to sit down with both parties and explore, or, if necessary, negotiate a solution. Hill seems more than willing to spend money on noise reduction solutions, and the shelter is equally willing to locate somewhere else -- almost anywhere it can find to build the kind of facility it needs.
And last, but perhaps most important, how about changing the name of the property owners' organization from CANIT to something more positive -- like DOIT. We're sure there are some wonderful people living in Mazatzal Mountain Air Park but, fair or not, image can sometimes be everything.
And while we're on the subject, we would urge all the residents of our community to adopt the same attitude, especially the members of the Payson Town Council. We need The Door Stop and the Payson Humane Society, and it's high time we all realize it.
Our community has a lot going for it, and we've been among the first to acknowledge the wonderful spirit of caring and giving. But we can also, on occasion, get into squabbles and skirmishes that are way beneath our collective dignity.
It's time for all interested parties to work these two issues out for the good of the community.