Candidate Profiles - Payson Mayor's Race

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Kenny Evans challenges current mayor

The Roundup will be running a series on all Payson and Star Valley mayoral and council candidates.

Each candidate has been given an opportunity to respond to the same 10 questions. Answers may have been shortened due to space restrictions.

The primary election will take place Tuesday, March 11.

Kenny Evans, Payson mayoral candidate:

Why are you running?

Temporary insanity! On a serious note, I have been blessed to live the American dream. Since retiring and moving to Payson a decade ago, I have discovered many talented, highly intelligent, caring fellow retirees and Paysonites who give so freely of themselves to help others. I would like to use the talents, resources and contacts with which I have been blessed through my four decades of Arizona business and political involvement to help Payson be even better. Payson is good. It can be great.

What changes are you seeking to implement?

I have no "hidden agenda" and no secret alliances with anyone. My goals are simple and straightforward. Often how we do things may be more important than what we do. I would focus on improving results, not making changes. I believe in the role of limited government.

What are the three most important issues to you?

Helping the town develop partners in progress who can help protect and improve the quality of life we have come to enjoy and to rightfully expect.

Relief from anxiety about the town's ability to supply safe and reliable future water supplies to our residents is a must.

Re-instilling a sense of optimism about the future based on stability and security -- whether it is smart growth, a sound and balanced economy, lifelong educational, cultural and recreational opportunities, jobs, affordable housing or organized youth activities -- is a must.

How will you attempt to address or solve those issues?

I believe people working together, as a team, can accomplish far more than individuals. I call it the Dirk-Dennis principle. I look forward to explaining it in more detail over the course of this campaign.

What can voters expect from you?

A team captain who will be consistent, fair and open. Once goals are adopted, I will use our resources and our local, state, regional and national contacts to empower those who have been assigned responsibility to achieve the goal. To be successful we must maintain a respect for both the heritage we remember and the future we envision.

What are your qualifications for holding a council seat?

Perhaps most importantly, I will listen. I have lived and worked in Arizona for more than half a century. I have known and worked with virtually all of our statewide elected leaders over the past two decades. I am personally acquainted with six of eight of our Congressmen, both U.S. Senators and many state legislators and senators including all three from our district.

What experience do you have, preparing you for office?

Over the past three decades I accumulated many years of combined service on the board of directors or as a corporate officer of many diverse public and private corporations and government entities including heading a large and diverse state agency. First appointed by Governor Bruce Babbitt, I served at the state level under five Arizona governors -- two Democratic and three Republican.

How will you work with your fellow councilors, if elected?

I would ask each to pick one or more areas of expertise where they could serve as a point person to learn, lead and be a resource to the other councilors.

The current and prospective councilors are talented individuals who are there to make a difference in people's lives.

In what activities or committees are you currently involved?

I serve as the president of the Mogollon Health Alliance, am on the board of trustees of Payson Regional Medical Center, am on the Gila County Extension Board, am chairman of the Zane Grey District Boy Scouts, am a member of the Presidency of the Payson Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was on the Star Valley Water Task Force. I continue to work behind the scenes to assist many youth, community college and senior citizen activities and programs.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy mentoring young people and in being mentored by my fellow seniors. I enjoy music and quiet reflection.

I love broken toys, old dogs and little children, especially my 10 thoroughly spoiled grandchildren. I am a six bar NRA sharpshooter and enjoy hunting and fishing, meandering in the woods and virtually all outdoor sports. Most of all, I love listening to and helping other people both young and old.

Mayor Bob Edwards seeks two more years


The Roundup will be running a series on all Payson and Star Valley mayoral and council candidates.

Each candidate has been given an opportunity to respond to the same 10 questions. Answers may have been shortened due to space restrictions.

The primary election will take place Tuesday, March 11.

Bob Edwards, Payson mayoral candidate:

Why are you running?

During my tenure as Payson's current mayor we have made considerable progress but there is still much to do. We have many people who have come forward to help with the reshaping of Payson government, offering their tremendous talents and giving much time. If I stepped out prior to the completion of the goals I feel I would be letting them down.

What changes are you seeking to implement?

We again offer the citizens a "Trust Agreement" promising to deliver a permanent water supply, be aggressive about driving drugs from Payson, secure proper county services, continue to improve streets and drains, make Payson more business friendly, continue to improve our trails system, make Payson a fun place to live, lock in the Mountain Town with a Western Heritage image, continue to improve the quality of town government and continue to make it a government "For the people."

What are the three most important issues to you?

Locking down a permanent water supply. We are currently very close to an agreement with the Salt River Project for Blue Ridge water.

Streets and drains. We have made great strides toward improving streets and drains but we still need to increase the effort to squeeze out even more money to speed up the process, and we will.

Crime and drugs. Drugs are a cancer that can destroy a town. We must make a total commitment to gaining control over this problem and I will lead the effort.

How will you attempt to address or solve those issues?

I am not just going to attempt to solve them, with the help of the citizens we will at the very least make great progress and set the path to total success.

What can voters expect from you?

Honesty, results and a total commitment to the task.

What are your qualifications for holding a council seat?

I worked 12 years as an engineer at Buick Motors, served six years in the Michigan Legislature, was the Michigan State Fair Director, ran the Michigan Employment Department, owned and operated a real estate investment and management company and am currently serving as Payson's mayor.

What experience do you have, preparing you to hold office?

I have worked in government a large part of my career, held public office, served as director of government departments and am Payson's current mayor.

How will you work with your fellow councilors, if elected?

As mayor I understand that my role is a leadership role and in that capacity I will continue to be sure the council is involved as a key part of the process and will offer my assistance on the projects they individually take on.

We have worked together on a number of major programs.

In what activities or committees are you currently involved?

When I ran for mayor I promised I'd be a full-time mayor and I have been.

Though the work days are long, I enjoy the interface and ability to solve problems and influence the course of the town. The spare time I do have to commit to other community activities I continue to volunteer with Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Payson Packers and in many other organizations as needed.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Hiking, biking, reading and spending quality time with family and friends.

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