Councilor Responds To Portion Of Mayor's Smart-Growth Plan

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Editor's note: Councilor Su Connell prepared a statement in response to three ordinances and two resolutions -- which are part of the mayor's smart-growth plan -- during the regular town council meeting Thursday evening. These issues were grouped as one vote. After the motion was tabled Thursday night, Connell was not able to issue her statement because comments may not be made on a tabled item per procedural rules.

She requested that her comments be published here:

With courage and conviction, I planned to request a motion to table all three ordinances: 694, 695 and 696, as well as Resolutions 2214 and 2226. I believe the people of Payson elected seven council members, and these ordinances and resolutions greatly impact our entire community. Therefore, our entire seven-member council must vote on each and every one of these resolutions and ordinances.

Each ordinance and resolution should be very clear in its content, and should stand on its own and be voted upon separately. I believe that growth management and water conservation are critical to the Town of Payson and many of the 17 points are good but ...

I have concerns and struggle with 694 being a minority rule process which goes directly against my personal beliefs of the democratic process of MAJORITY rule. We currently have a multiple-step process to hear all public voices for zoning ordinances.

These steps are working and have worked well in the past. Voting on this issue is going to be difficult for me.

(Ordinance) 695 has greatly improved in its scope, is much more palatable, and a real winning compromise. I would be more supportive of this ordinance if we had an economic study from (Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation), which is supposedly forthcoming within a couple of weeks.

This study could provide a baseline to monitor OUR Town's economy. The process or plan for administering the 250 (limit) should be written clearly and cleanly, and be a part of the ordinance.

Measurements that are made public, including economic and housing updates, should be provided (per a schedule) to the entire town and council several times throughout the year. This should also be part of the plan. Simultaneously, we should receive economic updates from PREDC comparing the current moment in time against the baseline data.

(Ordinance) 696 needs clarity, too ... plain language as to the town's commitment to supply water, and all water deviations and obtainment processes defined for the entire public to understand.

The new resolutions need to be written with clear and clean verbiage, including a clearly defined implementation process. The seven council members and the public must be allowed sufficient time to contemplate them all. They should not be a moving a "target of change," even up to almost the 11th hour before a council convenes.

Please, let's not hurry these critical issues. Let's fully understand their true meaning and impact! Let's make sure that they are in the best interest for the whole of Payson ... now and for its future.

Let's make clear plans, processes, and measurements we all can understand and abide by. Let's all continue to work together and show our combined courage and conviction. Let's take steps to plan our Town future. Let's reach consensus based on reasonable growth and water availability.

My reason for tabling the build-out plan resolutions and ordinances is so all seven members of the council could be present to vote on each and every one of these critical issues. I also believe we need to vote on these issues soon.

I tried to propose a vote at the Nov. 16 or for sure the Dec. 14 meeting (this request was not even heard or acknowledged at Thursday's meeting).

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