Whoa. Has anyone noticed that the level of information management associated with this "local" campaign far exceeds what one might expect for a town this size?
For purposes of this letter, may I define the two major election issues as:
1) People notice there are no potholes in the high-end sections of town, and no curbs in the other parts of town.
2) The city fathers have put everyone on water restrictions to make water available for (a) three golf courses, (b) a bunch of developers, and (c) so they can sell water (below cost) to folks who are outside the city and who don't pay taxes at all.
These are the issues that are eating at people. Since those observations can't be changed in time for the election, the only option is to manipulate the reality.
In the Payson Roundup front page story (Feb. 21, 2006) "Retail vital to Payson economy," the objective seems to be to tell the people how lucky they are to have potholes and water restrictions. Developers are the good guys. What good do they do? Well, maybe they provide sales taxes.
Now, we come to the very interesting page 1 bar graph. Two things jump out. (1) Are we being told that all construction sales are being paid by developers? Not so. And (2) Why did the bar graph scales change when we got to "Retail Sales?" Oh, the numbers are consistent but the bar has been shortened to make the eye think that "Construction" is almost half of "Retail Sales."
It appears that, in reality, all "Construction" put together (only part of which is developers) contributes about twice what McDonald's and Arby's do, or roughly the same as Bashas'. Is this all developers bring to the table? Doesn't seem like a lot to me.
Ah, but there may be a few who still have their minds on potholes and water restrictions. So let's bring in expert testimony of impending death and destruction to scare them, "If a community doesn't grow, it dies. Zero growth will be very harmful."
I guess if the media says so, it must be true. It would seem that the current city policies have resulted in potholes and water restrictions. Would the Payson Roundup please provide a front page article outlining why we should continue doing the same things and expect a different result?
Lynn Godfrey, Payson