Council Seat Opens With Barriger Resignation

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Payson Town Councilor George Barriger announced he is stepping down from his position on the council. His resignation is effective May 1.

Town officials wouldn't comment on the specifics of Barriger's departure or the impact it will have on the general election in May, but Barriger did say he didn't base his decision on the current political race.

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George Barriger, Payson Town Council

"I care very much about Payson and I'm certainly not doing this because of pressure or influence," he said. "We had some personal things to deal with and I don't feel like I have the energy to do the job justice."

Barriger said he and his wife Anna Jo plan to move to Redding, Calif. to be closer to their children.

Barriger's vacancy raises questions over who will take his place and how that person will be chosen.

State law mandates that an empty council seat be filled by appointment if a council member resigns more than 30 days before an election. Otherwise that person's replacement can be voted on by the citizens through the regular process.

Though Mayor Barbara Brewer could not be reached for comment about potential appointees, Town Attorney Sam Streichman said the council can choose one of the people currently running for council or mayor in this election.

Since Barriger is two years into his term, the appointee will serve the remainder of his tenure, and then have the option to seek another four-year term during the next primary election.

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