I am writing this letter on behalf of, I'm sure, a large majority of Payson's lifelong residents.
I am a small business owner whose grandparents moved to Payson over 30 years ago. My parents live here, and my wife has parents here. We and our brothers and sisters have attended grade school, high school, and have created businesses here. We consider ourselves true, lifelong residents of Payson.
With that said, our companies have been determined by the availability of the only possible sustainable industry -- construction. I am not a developer.
However, I side with them when given our current choices. The developers do bring money and work to our growing town, which most of us true full-time, lifelong residents rely on to live.
Elitists have come to our town and have brushed aside the fact that if Payson was not allowed to grow in earlier years they themselves would not have their beloved Chaparral Pines, Rim Club, or any other of their elitist hideaways. Now, that they have their property and a million dollar home, it's time to run out those unethical developers.
I am not interested in hearing the argument that if they develop a certain area, wildlife won't be coming through their property. If we look closer, their development was the cause of somebody's wildlife leaving some area somewhere. I understand that is why people love this area, but we cannot have these elitist double standards.
Sorry to say, Payson is not a retirement-only town. There are three grade schools and one junior and high school. We must plan our future accordingly.
Also, whoever thinks Payson is a tourist town should have their heads checked. There is nothing in Payson to attract tourists, thanks to our elitist friends. Payson has and will continue to be a glorified truck stop for hunters and anybody making their way to someplace other than Payson.
Gas stations, nursing homes, Wal-Mart and grocery stores will not effectively support our growing economy, or our growing middle class who have just recently shown their resolve in our national elections.
It's time we the people who don't seem to exist make ourselves and our mandate known.
Jeff Bland Jr., Payson
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within the 400-word limit for letters to the editor.