As the last ballots are counted tonight and the numbers reveal the winners and losers in this election, we will breathe a sigh of relief and shift our focus beyond the campaign to the future of Payson.
This election has been one of the most exhausting in recent memory. It has been contentious and divisive. The claws have come out and the fight has not been pretty.
Both sides fought hard for what they believe and their fight proved to all of us how important this election is and will prove to be in the years to come.
In fact, this has been one of the more important elections in the history of Payson, because it may very well decide the direction this town will take.
We are a landlocked community with finite water resources, which makes growth a difficult issue for us. We are facing issues that many towns will never have to face.
Within this context, the candidates have been characterized as either "pro-growth" or "no-growth."
But we believe those classifications oversimplify the issues and are insulting to the candidates. This election is about more than the number of houses that will be built in Payson and the size of our population.
The fight is a philosophical one. It's a lifestyle issue.
Do we want to stay a small town with few amenities, or do we want amenities at the expense of some of Payson's small town character?
It's a battle that every small town with a thriving economy must face, but it is not a battle that needs to be lost if the right people are holding the reins.
The battle will never be lost if the town has vision, planning and leadership.
Win, lose or draw, it is time for all those enmeshed in the elections to put the fighting behind them.
It is time for a vision. It is time to decide who we are and who we want to be.
No matter who is elected, the next council needs to reach out to the citizens, solicit their support and move forward with purpose.
Sometime after 8 p.m. Tuesday night, preliminary results will be released by the town clerk.
They will not include ballots from those who voted on Monday or Tuesday. The preliminary results will appear on our Web site, payson.com, as soon as they are available.
Final results, including the ballots cast Monday and Tuesday, will be made available Thursday afternoon. Those results will also be posted on our Web site immediately.
Complete election coverage will appear in the Friday, March 17 issue of the Payson Roundup.