Author's Note: This letter was written to the Town Council almost nine years ago (Aug. 7, 1997) as a "controlled growth" mayor took office. He did some minor damage, but Payson recovered quite well, and will do so again. Remember to vote, from a positive and informed perspective, as we move without fear into the future.
Here is the letter:
Growth is mandatory. It is the destiny of mankind on this planet. People are not static. They must thrive through economic activity. Growth is not undesirable or an enemy. Payson is a beautiful, thriving mountain community. We are all fortunate to be here in this time and place. People have diverse interests and lifestyles due to many factors, but we must try to live in harmony, or all our dreams evaporate. There are many of us ... who want Payson to remain the community as it is now, and we fear that growth will trample out beauty and peacefulness.
It is possible to achieve some semblance of this unchanging condition in certain planned communities by paying the price for a static condition (i.e. Sun Cities.) There, people are in agreement and pay the price for this type of serenity. Payson is not such a community. Payson is a cross-section of America, with diverse age groups and lifestyles.
Payson will grow and thrive, affected by the variations of nature, resources, and our national and global economies, which affect growth more than local legislation. To attempt to cause such a community to adjust to those who desire a static environment, is to invite disaster for all of Payson. That type of lifestyle must be paid for by its proponents, not exacted from those who must grow and thrive in our great country.
The future of Payson as a beautiful town and wonderful living environment, free of damaging growth, is very promising.
It is very wrong and damaging to attempt to install growth controls because of misplaced fear in citizens about water shortages. Water supplies must be developed to assure a thriving community and studies prove this is not a real problem for Payson and its environs.
In a larger sense, the Town Council has a real responsibility to exercise restraint and test the actual majority will of the citizens of Payson.
As a professional involved with growth in many cities of our nation for the past 40 years, I assure you that the beauty, peacefulness and wonderful ambiance of our town will not be destroyed by the moderate growth in our future. Our town can be devastated by dividing against itself.
Gary Spragins, Payson
Editor's note: This letter was cut to fit within the 400-word limit policy for Letters to the Editor.