Payson is one of those special places that many of us have chosen as our homes. The overall town is a friendly and pleasant place where you can go in a store and see people you know, attend a concert and find your friends, go to church, ball games, restaurants and feel at home.
It might be considered one of those best-kept secrets of Arizona except for the current atmosphere of back biting, distrust, innuendos and overall bad behavior on the part of some of its citizens.
We witnessed this during this election process, and have most recently witnessed it at the Senor Center. We live in a country where each voice should be heard with respect and honor. We have the right to run for office, the right to voice our opinions and the requirement that all should be heard. I shudder to think of the role models we have set for our youth. What happened to due process, fair candidacy rules, and overall responsible behavior?
We need to clean out our minds, our hearts and our closets. No matter who takes a position of leadership, it is a time to heal our town. The elected, or appointed, individuals who enter a form of public service, whether as township leaders, or organization leaders, are there to help improve our lives. No one goes into such a position with the intent to harm this town. Our town is well known for running on volunteer efforts. Payson would not be the town it is without these volunteers.
We just had Volunteer Day in April. Well, volunteers include those folks who choose to be on boards of directors, city council, or in charge of various programs for which they do not receive any pay or a very low allowance for their time and expense. They are no different than those who volunteer to read, pass out magazines and assist patients in hospitals, work at the Humane Society, volunteer in the schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League or any one of the service clubs, or other organizations in town.
It is not a "them vs. us" mentality for the rank and file versus their boards. This is the same with civic employees and their appointed or elected boards. We are all in this together, and we need to work together to make our town whole again. At this point, we can only say, "Shame on us for letting emotion rule instead of logic and good sense."
Alice Natale, Payson