As an individual who has lived, worked, raised children, contributed to the economy and held positions on various community boards since August of 1994, I believe I am well qualified to discuss the current political climate of Payson.
Frankly, I am outraged as well as in disbelief relating to the candidates who are desperately trying to erect the gates at the north, south and east end of town. They are here now, so let's not let anyone else in. There is a name for this. It is referred to as being a hypocrite. Additionally, they are once again spreading their "doom and gloom" message without accurate facts and using narrow-minded thinking and scare tactics to encourage people to vote their way.
Let's review the facts:
- Growth rate has been consistently below 3 percent. In 2005 we were at 5 percent, which is actually healthy for a town Payson's size.
- Payson has done one of the best jobs in the state, for a rural community, pertaining to water concerns. Developer growth has given us water we would otherwise not have as well as the Green Valley Lakes project. We should be celebrating our success. Instead, the "doom and gloom" people continue using the water issue as a disguise for their real agenda. No new growth.
- Without adequate managed growth, businesses will close, people will lose their jobs, school enrollment will decline, sales tax revenue will decrease and property taxes will go up to make up for the deficit in the reduced sales tax revenue. Town services will decrease. Medical services may become unavailable locally. The money and hours contributed by the business community to our local nonprofit and service organizations will be at risk.
If you believe this doesn't affect you and your livelihood, look at the big picture. No one is immune, not even the retired.
Vote for the proactive candidates such as Barbara Brewer, Robert Hensley and Barb Underwood. If you own or manage a business, give your employees an hour off to vote. Drive them to the polls. Do whatever it takes to ensure Payson's future for you, your children and your grandchildren to enjoy. Don't let the narrow-minded "doom and gloom" candidates turn us into a ghost town for the affluent.
Julie Ruttle, Payson