Even Newcomers Have Valid Opinions

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Editor:

A couple weeks ago I wrote a letter, which you published, in which I stated my hope that this election would be a clean one. I appealed to the Payson voters to pay attention to issues, listen to the candidates, find out what they intend to do for our town and then vote for their choices. I also expressed the hope that personal attacks on candidates would be avoided. Sadly, this has not been the case.

Since then, there have been attempts to smear some of the candidates who are relative newcomers to Payson, especially Mr. Edwards, a candidate for mayor. This smear tactic is an example of the negativism some folks are spreading throughout our town. Regardless of who any of us support, this negativism is divisive to our community. Lately, there have been many disparaging references to candidates who are "newcomers" including remarks by some of the members of our current Town Council.

They imply that candidates they perceive as newcomers are expressing doom and gloom. They try to make the case that the so-called newcomer candidates do not understand what is best for Payson or how the town government really operates. This has been a common theme in recent "Letters to the Editor" as well. All of these are clearly aimed at any and all candidates who are not old school residents, despite the fact that these new folks bring to their campaigns extensive talent and experience and an honest desire to work full-time for the good of our town, if elected. In my opinion, less than positive comments of this kind are totally out of order and are designed at leading voters and planting ideas as to how they should think.

Few of us have any connection to the very earliest Payson settlers of territorial days and therefore most all of us are relative newcomers who care about our community just as much as those who may have lived here for many more years. I feel, therefore, that we must listen to ideas and inputs from all of our citizens no matter how long they have lived in Payson. If we choose to deny the fresh input and ideas of our newer residents, including those who choose to run for public office, this little town will not flourish.

Carolyn Baltz, Payson

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