I'm sure nobody living in Payson has missed seeing yard signs all over town. You'd think the office of justice of the peace was important, or something.
Actually, it's more important than most realize.
These are the "small claims" courts where you can go to recover up to $2,500 that you feel was wrongly taken from you, air a grievance against a neighbor, contest a traffic ticket or eviction, or seek an order of protection.
The problem with the current JP court is that there's a constant stream of repeat offenders. They commit crimes over and over, pay their fine, and come back to see Judge Little yet again. No wonder it's called the "Cash Court."
The present judge has been unable to stop this revolving door. It's insane to continue doing what isn't working.
Barry Standifird trumpets "Experience and Education" as though that's the answer. However, there's been no public groundswell to require JPs to be lawyers. After all, local justice courts are supposed to be the "people's courts" where average citizens can file claims or defend themselves without the expense and rigmarole of legal representation.
People want and expect a minimum of the pomp and legal mumbo jumbo that you find in Superior Court. They want a plain-talking judge who has plenty of real-life experience and common sense and no pretense.
Only one candidate is focused on making a difference in people's lives and breaking their cycle of criminal behavior. That person is Dan Hill.
Dan Hill was selected the Payson Roundup's "Man of the Year" in 2003, largely because of his work with Payson's youth, especially boys. He's served tirelessly and held offices in the Rotary Club, Payson H.S. Interact club, Payson Choral Society, and most importantly, the Boy Scouts of America.
Their Boy Scout service is perhaps the best example of the differences between Dan Hill and Barry Standifird. Both Barry and Dan have been involved in the Boy Scouts.
Barry has held a number of positions over 12 years. However, in the 17 years that Dan has been involved in scouting, under his leadership 21 boys have obtained the coveted Eagle Scout designation.
Dan didn't just hold a position. He actively made a difference in their lives. And, he'll do the same thing as our justice of the peace.
The verdict is in. Dan Hill is our best choice for justice of the peace.