Taxpaying citizens and legal voting citizens, as well as our precious Town Council have to look beyond the "smoke and mirror" images. Anyone that has spent any time at all living here in our lovely town of Payson, gets all "gussied up" over anything new in this town.
This trumped-up idea of a YMCA would not last long enough to be totally erected until the master minds would be asking for donations from the surrounding communities to complete the building, due to the lack of funds. Yes, it all sounds great to have a safe place for our young citizens as well as our senior citizens to hang out, so to speak.
That is, if they have the money for the required membership, and have the time to actually use the facility after all of the other needed responsibilities. For the most part, our youths that might use the facility have a full plate of school obligations. For the most part our children that are in sports are busy working out on their athletic skills after school hours.
Schools usually let out at 3 p.m. and after that they go to practice for whatever sport is in season. In doing that, the students are using school-supplied equipment and or personal equipment already bought by parents. Where is there time for YMCA schedules?
And, as we parents know all to well, these school activities can go on until 9 p.m. Nightly. If there were a YMCA in our town, how late would it be open to the public? 9 p.m.
As for our highly respected senior citizens, these gentle folks usually don't stir around until around 9 or 10 a.m. Shopping for groceries, paying bills, and casually taking care of business. As for their interests in a YMCA, why would these fine folks need the YMCA?
Let's be realistic, Gila Community College has a well-equipped gym that is totally free.
There is a qualified instructor on duty at all times that is more than happy to assist you. There are two other well-equipped gyms in our Town that are well established. One of the two even has a registered nurse on duty to monitor heart rates, blood pressures and any other ill conditions that might need medical attention. Where is a need for a YMCA here?
And, if desired, there are plenty of different activities at our local Senior Citizen Center.
Alright, let's say this little town of 16,000 people did allow a modern facility like a YMCA to be built? That would be an ideal invitation for affordable housing for our already severe population of illegals. This condition is already an out-of-control problem within our town and surrounding areas without asking for more of the same to come here.
Let's keep it real folks, this is a plea to keep big city attractions like a YMCA in the big towns. Us folks here in Payson are still cowboy-oriented and proud of it!
We certainly don't need another "Coyote Drop Off ..." if you get my drift!
A. L. Buckner