Slow Growth Now



We Payson citizens certainly haven't lacked for issues lately. It's a great town with a whole bunch of involved people. And, surely, there is more than one good decision with regard to our water issues. Our little cowboy town has just about doubled in the last seven years. Our mayors and legislators have made many good improvements and decisions. We have a great new library. Our rodeo is growing nicely. Our children are getting a good education with a small town atmosphere. We have a very competent hospital; a very interesting community of first class artists. So, what is the problem?

Well, several years ago we came to Payson from a town we had lived in for 23 years. It was about the size of Payson when we moved in. It had great schools, farms and a whole bunch of involved people. They made the town so neat that it grew 10 times, to almost 190,000. The farms are gone. The schools are still good, but crowded -- as are the streets. It is hard to get a room in the hospital. The people don't talk together like they did.

The (town newsletter) says, "The Town of Payson is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for our citizens." Does that mean water quality, quantity and cost? Does that mean preserving some of the best air quality in the world? Do we want crowded streets? Do we want to be a special small town or Prescott? Gilbert? Scottsdale?

Trees drive this area. They clean the air, invite the tourists and enhance the Rim. As we clear the area for development, what happened to that look? What happens to the air? Common sense tells us we do not have enough water already. If we grow, the owners of Blue Ridge will extract every penny we have for that water. If we don't grow, we will call the tune. And, perhaps we can then set up a watershed group of towns to share in the opportunity of Blue Ridge. It isn't going to get any better, unless we stop growing. We really have an issue of quality of life. What do you want to be, Payson?

Bob Breen, Payson

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