At this time of year, as one calendar rolls into another, it is a symbolic time to reflect, re-focus and, if need be, start again.
We would like to take this moment to reflect on the passing year and set our goals for 2007.
The Town of Payson staff and council have already been hard at work putting together the goals for the next year in the form of the Corporate Strategic Plan.
Though it has not been finalized, we support the direction of the plan.
The preliminary goals that have been presented are:
- Improving public perception of town staff and bolstering employee morale.
- Defining the town's image as a step in community and economic development.
- Updating street standards and outlining a plan to build pocket parks.
Above and beyond these official goals, we would like to add a few more New Year's resolutions for the coming year:
- A plan in place to resolve our affordable housing crisis before the work force must leave and Payson becomes a shell of high-priced homes with no one to support its infrastructure. The Mayor's Affordable Housing task force and members of Town staff are already hard at work on this and we applaud their efforts.
- Promotion of healthy, active lifestyles for Payson residents. This includes the implementation of the urban trails network under discussion by council and a second look at the possibility of a YMCA or other indoor recreation facility. This is the perfect year to focus on these changes as a new Payson Parks and Recreation director takes the reins.
- As a community and as individuals, we need to work on our communication. We hope to see conflict approached this year with open minds.
- We would like to see more than 30 people show up for veterans' events. Despite the publicity given to Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day events, attendance has been poor. Let's commit to recognizing our veterans this year. It's time we do more than put a Support Our Troops sticker on our cars.
- The same could be said for performances put on by our local youth. Out of one side of our mouth, we curse the trouble caused by teens, but what are we doing to reinforce positive behavior? When the high school stages a play or a concert, we should make an attempt to attend. Or, if the arts do not interest you, plan to attend a football or volleyball game this year. Pick something you're interested in and support it.
- Stop littering. Trash has become a serious problem in this town. Trash lines the ditches along the roads in town, on the highway and in the national forests. Ask anyone who has volunteered to Adopt-a-Highway what disregard people seem to have for the surrounding environment. This year, let's show pride in our community by putting trash where it belongs.
- As an addition to the littering resolution, we should continue to seek out ways to promote recycling.
- As a three-part series published by the Roundup recently discussed, this community is faced with a growing meth problem. We must commit ourselves to stop this plague from spreading. We must provide help for adults who are addicted and education for children so they never become addicted.
Above all, let's dedicate 2007 to appreciating, preserving and improving what we have. We are truly blessed. Happy New Year.