Dismayed But Not Surprised By Task Force Petition



I read the article regarding "local celebrities" objecting to the existence of the newly formed Task Forces with dismay, but not surprise. It seems that there will always be those who object when progress is being made.

As a volunteer on the Trails Task Force, I will comment on our conduct, although I cannot say that the others run in the same fashion.

We are a group of about 15 citizens joined by three or four town employees, who are there to contribute their expertise. Because we are working at interfacing town trails with Forest Service lands, a representative of the U.S. Forest Service tries to be on hand as well.

The chair was selected by the group, not the mayor. Well, actually, she was the only one who offered to take the lead.

The mayor sat in on our first meeting, with minimal input, but lots of welcomed encouragement. Since then he has not attended, although he is kept informed.

Our meetings are informal -- no Robert's Rules -- which is probably why we have made so much progress in a short time. And, we have no set pattern for our meeting dates, but the meetings are open to anyone interested in attending. This may mean that someone interested in this topic will have to go to "all of the trouble" of calling the Town to find out about the next meeting.

As a task force of interested citizens, we are not politically or financially motivated. Our suggestions are just that, and we cannot overrule what the Town and its elected officials eventually decide. I can only assume that the other task forces are conducted in a similar manner.

This whole idea of citizen task forces would seem to be a win/win for Payson. We give of our time freely, with the goal of addressing issues without fear of political reprisal. I do not know what the objectors' agendas may be, but I would suggest that anyone interested in one or more of the topics covered take a little initiative, and go to a meeting. Better yet, get involved.

Joanne Bergman, Payson

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