Andy Romance Fills Empty Council Seat

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The Payson Town Council voted unanimously, after considering three candidates, to appoint Andy Romance to fill the seat vacated by Councilor George Barriger. Romance currently serves the town as a member of the Green Valley Redevelopment Committee.

"I do look forward to working for the town of Payson in this capacity," said Romance as he addressed the audience and the council. "And those of you who know me can testify as well as those who will get to know me that I don't take myself too seriously."

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Andy Romance

Mayor Barbara Brewer directed the council in early April to seek potential replacements after Barriger announced his resignation in March.

The panel produced three candidates: Jon Barber, Dick Wolfe and Andy Romance.

During the first vote, John Wilson and Vice Mayor Judy Buettner chose Wolfe; Dick Reese and Tim Fruth picked Romance and Robert Henley tapped Barber.

Brewer, a mayoral candidate, abstained from voting and left the decision to the five other councilors.

"There could be hostility and there's Andy, an island of patient, stable influence," said Reese as he voted for Romance. "I think his youth speaks well for him and us in terms of reaching out to the younger people of this community."

With Barber in the minority, Henley planted his vote with Romance, creating a 3-2 split.

Wilson and Buettner followed.

"I think it's important that we all vote unanimously for the next council member," Buettner said.

And though only one candidate made the cut, the council lauded all the candidates dates for their characters and personal commitments to Payson.

"You people make our community better and, for me, that is so, so important," Fruth said. "And I hate this. To me it's not a popularity vote."

After Romance accepted the nomination, Councilor Dick Reese asked him whether his position as a self-employed engineer could create conflicts of interest. Romance said "no," because most of his work is out of town.

"It is an integrity issue and it has to come from the person from within," Romance said. "I acknowledge that many can come to that conclusion and I considered that heavily."

The council will swear in Romance during a private ceremony May 9, and again at the May 11 regular town council meeting.

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