Don't Believe ‘Towns Grow Or Die' Myth

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Editor:

The issue in this election is the responsiveness of the current mayor and a majority of the town council to the will of the people of Payson. They have responded to the wishes of developers. Their duty is to represent the people of Payson. Their failure to do this has been demonstrated repeatedly.

A better indication than talk of the expectations if you re-elect the mayor is the record. Town officials indicate we have plenty of water to support growth. Contrary indications are the high rate for watering grass and the increasingly severe conservation measures. What about quality of life? Is it acceptable for children to have to play on rocks instead of grass?

We can spend money on Main Street, business development and by giving developers unrealistically low impact fees. However, we don't have enough money for drainage to protect homes from flooding, for sidewalks, streetlights, street repairs, or a bypass to relieve traffic congestion in the center of town.

If we don't have a water problem, why are we taking water out of Star Valley? Is growth such a high priority that we must take Star Valley's water regardless of the wishes of the people of Payson, or the risks involved. What if Star Valley doesn't have any more water than Mayfield Canyon and Star Valley runs out of water? The contract Payson has does not give any protection to the people of Star Valley. Will the people of Star Valley sit idly by while we are reducing the value of their property by one hundred million dollars?

We are aware of fire risk as a result of the Willow fire. We have a plan for dealing with fire in the national forest. We do not have a plan for dealing with fire risk inside our town limits. Much land in Payson that is underdeveloped has fuel consisting of undergrowth. If lightning strikes at night and it becomes a crown fire, what happens to Payson? Enforcing an ordinance requiring property owners to clean up underbrush could substantially reduce fire risk.

Don't buy the popular myth that "towns grow or die." History doesn't support it, and neither should you. Vote for Bob Edwards for mayor. He has the legislative and executive experience to deal effectively with such problems, and he respects the will of the people.

Jim Winter, Payson

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