Let's face it, folks, we are in the middle of a serious drought that refuses to quit. Last year we had some relief, but scientists say that this (was) not unexpected.
I've lived in the arid Southwest all my life and drought is a regular occurrence in this part of the country. A few years like this and Blue Ridge will be like a mud hole. I saw that reservoir in 1995 and that's what it looked like then.
We must control our growth because the more people in Payson, the more water we will need for them.
What is explosive growth in Payson? I'll give you a few concrete examples: a 30-percent increase in new home starts from 2004 to 2005; allowing one developer to have 1,000 units for building (even if it could take four years -- Are other developers supposed to be idle during this time?); another example of explosive growth is building a 150-room hotel across from a brand new, existing 44-room hotel (tourists are going to be using our water, and probably not conserving). Does that make sense?
Citizens are made to conserve water so the town can grow rapidly. That doesn't make sense! We need a council that is sensitive to the citizens' concerns about growth and water.
I remember when Buzz Walker was asked if he knew how much water was under Payson. He didn't have a clue. To protect our water situation, to improve our street conditions, to slow down explosive growth and to work with authorities in defending against wildfire vote for the candidates who have studied our problems, made plans to correct them and are willing to listen to residents' concerns and suggestions. The voice of the people must be heard. Please vote for Bob Edwards for mayor and Ed Blair for council. They will make Payson a better place for you and me.
Bill Michaelis, Payson