On Sept. 13, the town council discussed a possible referendum to put the water resolution on the ballot. Unless they plan to rescind the resolution, it would be inappropriate to even discuss the referendum at this time. The reason is that the petitions have not yet been submitted. If the council wants to oppose the referendum, then that would be even more inappropriate.
The petition is simply to place an important decision in the hands of the voters. This is good. It lets the people decide and protects the town council from possible errors in judgment. I submit that, if the town council should take any action that even appears to impede the referendum from going forward, then the town council will be viewed in defiance of their constituents. That would be terrible.
As shifting demographics affect Payson in a big way, the council has a great opportunity to provide leadership and guide Payson's growth. Water and development are probably the two most important issues and the Council needs to take the pulse of its constituents. Although, it has been said that growth is good, that is not always true. Willy-nilly development, done according to the developers wishes, is in the best interest of the developer, not the community. Payson needs to take a step back and take a public look at where we are going. For this, a thorough public dialog on this subject is vital before we allow any more development.
Perhaps the council should appoint a citizens commission to study the issues, first.
I served on the Dana Point Sanitary District Board in Dana Point, Calif. During that time and for a duration of 15 years, Dana Point was challenged with similar issues. We had to provide more sewage capacity while the city grappled with the same controversies that Payson now faces. It was a political bloodbath. Only after 15 years of divisiveness and a number of successful recall elections, were certain developers permitted to proceed with a plan that was reduced to 20 percent of the original proposal.
Unless the town council listens to its constituents and provides appropriate, responsive and visionary leadership that does not appear to cow-tow to the developers, I am fearful that Payson will face the same political hardships that Dana Point faced since 1989. Let's not let that happen.
Al Poskanzer, Payson