New Editorial Board Starts This Week

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This space is an open mouth. A white, hungry maw that needs to be filled twice a week.

In an ideal world, I would always have something to say -- something poignant and important. But one human mind, left to itself, has the tendency to become a treadmill. No matter how original or insightful one mind hopes to be, that mind tends to chew cud made of the same material.

And that is why the perspective of more than one person is so important for the editorial page.

Since coming to the Payson Roundup, I believe the best step I have made toward the betterment of this newspaper is the creation of our editorial board.

I look forward to Wednesday afternoons, when the five-member board meets to discuss the events and thoughts of the past week. We cull through those insights and dig through our comments until we find something worth sharing with the readers of this community.

The voices of five editorial board members keep the editor from pacing over the same worn ground on this page.

The editorial board is made up of volunteers who are chosen from a pile of applications for their level of engagement in the community. The only rule: They cannot be elected officials or work for elected officials.

They serve a four-month term. The turnover keeps the ideas fresh and keeps any one dynamic or line of thinking from becoming entrenched on this page.

It is another step in putting out a paper that accurately reflects the community it covers.

As each member of the board has come and gone, finishing out their terms, they have become a part of this newspaper in a very real way. They get to know the staff and the behind-the-scenes, day-to-day workings of the Roundup.

But, more importantly, we get to know them and hear about the corner of Payson or the Rim Country where they live and view the world.

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, another editorial board will begin its tenure. For the next four months, Bill Sahno, Marie Fasano and Gerri Levine will be offering their perspectives to each editorial.

Bill Sahno has been a Payson resident for 14 years. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps career officer and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He is currently chairman of the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, and a member of the Payson Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Marie Fasano is a recent transplant to Payson. Fasano's career was spent in nursing, aviation and writing. A licensed pilot, Fasano writes, "My particular interests, in addition to health care and aviation, are the lack of housing for middle-income working families and the issue of immigration."

Gerri Levine grew up in Phoenix in the '50s and '60s. Levine spent her career conducting biomedical research at the University of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She moved to Payson in 2004. Since then, she has been an active member of PAWS and the Rimstones Rock Club and volunteered at the Northern Gila County Fair photography exhibit.

In her application to the board, she writes, "I believe I represent a view shared by many newly retired, recent residents of Payson -- intelligent growth that adds amenities without destroying the town's basic charm."

I look forward to being a part of the discussions that will come from a meeting of these diverse minds and I look forward to the editorials that will come from that discussion.

If you are interested in volunteering on a future editorial board, send a letter describing your background, community involvement and what perspective you would bring to the table. E-mail editor@payson.com, send your letter to Autumn Phillips, Payson Roundup, P.O. Box 2520, Payson, AZ 85547 or bring it by the Roundup office at 708 N. Beeline Highway.

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