Michael Hughes

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Michael Hughes seeks a Payson Town Council position

Why are you running?

Payson has been my home for 20 plus years. I've raised my children here, made my living here and plan to live here the rest of my life. Payson's future is at a crossroads. The decisions made in the next two to four years will, to a large extent, determine the future of Payson. I have been fortunate to live and work in Payson all these years and I feel that it is time for me to give back to the community that has be so good to me.

What changes do you seek to implement?

I would like to see the council move toward more of a leadership role and away from a management role.

What are the three most important issues to you?

The number one most important issue is making C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) water a reality for this area now. Having two independent sustainable sources of water to our area will ensure our long-term future.

Second, the town has to come together as one community. We all have concerns, needs and points of view. We have a right for them to be addressed. With that comes a responsibility that we also respect and understand our neighbors' concerns, needs and views, and their right that they be addressed.

Third, we need to establish long-term economic stability. We need living wage career-oriented jobs. Businesses that provide a tax base to maintain and improve our services and infrastructure. And we need to do it in such a way that maintains our quality of life that makes Payson so special.

How will you attempt to address or solve those issues?

I would ask that the Town of Payson make the public commitment to the C.C. Cragin project and give staff clear instructions to make it a reality. Until we make a firm commitment to move forward decisively, we are in jeopardy of another entity laying claim to that water source. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that Payson cannot afford to lose.

As a leader, bringing the community together can only be done by example. You have to first respect and understand all sides. Then encourage respect and understanding by all sides.

In today's business marketplace we have to compete with many other towns to attract quality businesses. We have to truly make Payson attractive to businesses looking to relocate.

What can voters expect from you?

Honest and objective decision making.

What are your qualifications for holding a council seat?

I have been an area resident for 23 years. I am a graduate of the Town of Payson Leadership Academy. And I truly care.

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

I participated and helped implement a structural audit and writing a new strategic plan for the Central Arizona Board of Realtors. I have a good working relationship with several of the departments in the Town.

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

I will work together with the other council members to bring positive solutions to the issues that face us.

In what activities or committees are you currently involved?

I am in my third year as a director of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors. Currently I am an executive officer serving as secretary. I have also served as the Affordable Housing chair, and the Regional Affairs chair.

For the Town of Payson I served on the Affordable Housing Task Force, currently vice chair of the Affordable Housing Commission, and have taken part in several "stakeholder" meetings with the mayor and members of the council.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my rare free time I enjoy motorcycle riding, playing cards with family and friends and reading books.

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