In response to the editorial titled "Shift in housing prices steers Payson in wrong direction," I would like to say that I completely agree with Mr. Swartwood's comments. However, I think that he is only skimming the surface of the problems Payson is facing.
Like many young parents, my husband and I like the idea of raising our children in a small community (we both graduated from Payson High School).
As such, I have been forced to drive to Scottsdale every day just to pay my mortgage. I have been making my commute for just over two years now.
In that time I have been seeking employment in Payson unsuccessfully.
I think that the problem is not only with real estate prices, but with the job market in general.
I make over $60,000 per year with full benefits and retirement. I have not been able to find a job for $10 per hour in Payson. The couple of times that I did get a call I was told there were no benefits offered and the employer had not even heard of a 401K.
The only jobs seem to be in banking, service, retail of some kind, construction/manual labor or health care. As Payson has no real industry, it occurs to me that something is going to have to change. A husband working for Payson Concrete and a wife working as a waitress does not equal enough money to pay a mortgage/rent and pay for food and diapers.
I agree that real estate prices are out of control, but that's statewide.
It's simply a matter of supply and demand. I guess we are going to have to force all the service workers out of town before employers realize that the demand for employees has risen and therefore they must raise their wages. And it's not only the private businesses. The county and city wages are just as bad.
For young people trying to start a family and lay a foundation for a stable life while also building a future for retirement, Payson just isn't the place anymore.