From many perspectives, Payson is the finest community in which to live in the state of Arizona. It's centrally located, has an ideal climate, nice people and is adjacent to some of the finest natural resources to be found. These things all contribute to the quality of life we enjoy in Payson, but they don't create a sense of community. The sense of community comes from the diverse array of programs offered by our town.
If Proposition 300 (the Home Rule initiative) does not pass, it will result in the reduction of the town budget by up to one third. This would result in a scaling back or virtual elimination of all nonessential programs.
The town of Payson would continue to exist, but the community we enjoy may not. Primarily, our parks and recreation department would be trimmed to almost nothing. Our children may no longer have soccer, T-ball, basketball, flag football or the Punt-Pass-and-Kick and Pitch-Hit-and-Run events to enjoy.
Adults may no longer be able to participate in recreational or competitive basketball, volleyball and softball leagues. The town pool would be unable to open, eliminating swim lessons and free swim. Concerts in the park, the Easter Egg Scramble, fireworks on the Fourth of July, the Summer Recreation Center and many other special events would be jeopardized.
We have beautiful parks that are exceptionally well cared for and meticulously maintained. It takes money to continue to develop our parks, and to keep them clean and looking the way they do. These same parks are where our community members play baseball, football, basketball, tennis and volleyball.
Our children play on playgrounds, and people exercise at our parks. People gather at the events that our Parks and Recreation Department sponsors, and they get to know one another, see family and friends and greet old friends. A well-funded Parks and Recreation Program is essential to maintaining Payson's sense of community.
Home Rule was previously passed four years ago by the people of Payson.
A "yes" vote on Prop 300 during this election would continue to allow Payson to exist under home rule and would remove from jeopardy many programs critical to our quality of life.
Craig McMullen, Payson