As this election continues to heat up, even as it draws to a close, voter logic has taken a strange turn.
In conversations with readers in recent weeks we have heard grumblings about Home Rule, a little-discussed issue overshadowed on the ballot by a contentious mayoral race.
Home Rule has appeared on the ballot every four years since the early 1980s, when the Arizona Legislature added it to the state constitution as an alternative expenditure limitation for individual municipalities.
In those two-and-a-half decades since Home Rule went on the books, the issue has never been voted down and has rarely been met with much controversy.
But this election is different. There seems to be a climate of skepticism that has gripped some voters. In this election, every rock is being overturned for a possible hidden agenda. And Home Rule has gotten swept up in this questioning whirlpool.
We are not sure when it happened, but the current seems to have shifted against Home Rule for some of our readers.
We believe this is a dangerous turn.
While a certain amount of skepticism is healthy, Home Rule should not be a controversial issue.
A "yes" vote does not open up the town to unlimited spending. Under Home Rule, a town cannot spend more money than it has.
Home Rule simply allows our town government to set its own budget, rather than having the state set our budget through a predetermined formula.
If Home Rule is voted down, the town budget will be cut by $11 million, according to the state's formula.
We believe most people who vote against Home Rule do so simply because they don't understand it.
While many believe town spending should be curbed, voting "no" on Home Rule is not the way to force the town to cut costs.
An $11 million-cut out of the town's budget would cost Payson in jobs, infrastructure and in funding for organizations like the humane society and the Payson Senior Center.
The town would have to slash programs such as the Payson Public Library and curtail spending on police and fire protection.
The way Payson is growing, we believe Home Rule is the best way to manage the town's budget. It gives our leaders flexibility, but does not give them free rein as we have heard some readers say.
For more information or to schedule a Home Rule presentation, contact Councilor John Wilson at (928) 951-0014.