As a resident and property owner in the Payson area since 1975, I feel compelled to offer some insight into the current election rhetoric. Although I own several properties in Payson, I cannot vote on issues that directly affect me there, as I live in Pine.
The "last settlers" are back, defined as "now that I am here, close the gates, and don't let anyone else in."
According to county tax records, Bob Edwards, in 2001, purchased one of the most expensive lots in Payson, in rather exclusive Rim View Heights. He then built a 3,470 square foot home on it. He would now deny anyone else that opportunity. He is also a professional politician, who did not vote in the last town election.
In 2003, Ed Blair purchased an approximately $300,000 brand new home in Payson Pines from a developer from out of town. At that time, the median home price in Payson was considerably below $150,000. He also would deny anyone else that opportunity.
About 1980, when the population of Payson reached 5000, the "last settlers" warned that we would be out of water in 10 years unless we stopped growth. It didn't happen.
Here we are 26 years later, and the new "last settlers" are warning that we will be out of water in the next few years. However, the Payson Water Department recently announced that the water level in Payson's wells is the highest in over 10 years.
In their hypocritical efforts to stop growth and thereby destroy the town, Edwards and Blair have chosen to ignore the fact that Blue Ridge water will be available long before we need it.
I saw the economic disaster caused by the most recent "last settler" mayor, Vern Stiffler, and I hope that the voters will not allow it to be repeated.
I urge you to vote for Mayor Brewer and Barbara Underwood for Council. They have lived, worked, and raised their families in Payson for many years, unlike the "last settlers" that just moved here.
Dale Oestmann, Pine