Bob Edwards, chairman of the Committee for Community-Based Growth, declared for mayor Monday morning.
At a rally in the Payson Town Hall parking lot, Edwards pledged to put "We the people" back in government.
"Payson government is not a government ‘of the people' -- citizen's input is ignored, not sought," Edwards told his supporters. "Payson government is not a government ‘by the people' -- it is run by town staff. Payson government is not a government ‘for the people' -- it is run for special interests."
Edwards, a former Michigan state legislator, said the citizens of Payson are being misled about the adequacy of its water supply, about growth, and about future land swaps.
"Town staff, with compliance from a majority of the council, is working hard to instill an ‘explosive growth' philosophy," Edwards said. At the same time, he added, the town recently admitted it was perilously close to exceeding safe yield -- at which time more water will be taken out of the ground than is replenished.
"Yet when a councilperson asked the water department for a plan, he was told the water department does not need a plan," Edwards said. "Payson needs a plan and needs it now."
Edwards also introduced Ed Blair, a retired Lutheran minister, who announced his candidacy for town council.
Both Edwards and Blair promised a "trust agreement" to the citizens of Payson. Among other things, that agreement promises to "let the citizens define the type of town they want, to restructure Payson government, to "continue to fight for the referendum to stop the taking of Star Valley water against their will, and to enforce fiscal responsibility.
Edwards and Blair can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may be made to Edwards for Mayor and mailed to 1111 S. Cypress Circle, Payson, AZ 85541.