After the Town Council meeting on June 9, I wanted to comment on the incorporation efforts of the Diamond Star area. A lot has been said about the water issues, but the action of the town council to block our own incorporation was based solely on greed. The council wants us to stay as we are without local representation. With no local political voice, they can continue to dictate our lifestyle, take our natural resources, collect our sales tax when we shop in Payson, and still have no say in their politics.
The town council has turned down both request for annexation and now self-incorporation. The law written to provide a municipality a chance to expand was not written to give that municipality dominion over the area without taking action. A town either has to annex the area or allow them to incorporate themselves when petitioned to do so.
To annex the Diamond Star area would cost Payson an estimated $875,000 more than it would collect in sales tax and shared revenue from this area. This is due to the fact that the Town would need to take over the Diamond Star Fire Department's operations.
The newly formed town of Diamond Star would not have to take the fire department over. There are enough projected sales tax and shared revenues for the newly formed Diamond Star to exist without a property tax.
If the town of Payson annexed this area, they said that the fire department would stay the same and continue to pay separate taxes for the fire services in the Diamond Star area of Payson. Telling us that we would have to pay for fire protection inside the town limits kind of makes us sound like second-class citizens of Payson, doesn't it?
Oh, and once again, the town council said that even if they annexed us and their actions dry up the wells of Star Valley, they would not have to provide us with water. Again making us sound like second-class citizens of Payson. Is it any wonder that we want to represent ourselves?
I ask everyone in Payson who is ashamed of the actions of the town council to speak out. This is not just a water issue, it is a lifestyle issue and we are not second-class citizens in Diamond Star, Ariz.
Gary Hatch, Diamond Star Fire Department