Response To Citizens Task Force Criticism

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Editor:

Hats off to anyone who takes the time to serve in public office, especially the Payson Town Council.

However, the recent criticism by former Councilman and Vice Mayor, Dick Wolfe, of the current Mayor's Task Forces, is without merit.

There are approximately 17 active task forces and look what has been accomplished, for example in water and street maintenance. It has been finally established, by the Water Task Force, that Payson has a water problem, if future building is not managed.

An annual building permit cap ordinance of 250 has been established. Blue Ridge has been targeted as Payson's future water supply and water impact fees increased, to help pay for the construction cost of bringing Blue Ridge online. Streets that have been crumbling under citizens' feet for years, now have a Task Force plan for refurbishing with approximately 16 miles per year being seal-coated and this has been implemented.

May I ask what did the previous three mayors and town councils that Mr. Wolfe served on do to solve these issues -- basically nothing? What citizen input did these previous Councils allow?

You were allowed to speak up to three minutes at the end of the Council Meeting, when everyone was ready to go home. Now, unlimited citizen input is accepted on each agenda item at Town Council meetings.

The Mayor and Council are not required to accept every proposal from the Task Forces. They represent citizen input, which we never had before and provide valuable information and ideas that would cost the Town thousands, if it were to be had by hiring private consultants. The $3,700, not the $37,000 reported, spent on recruiting costs for a new police chief for Payson, was money well spent to ensure that the best candidate available was selected. This process is employed universally by corporations, school boards, state and local governments.

The development of Main Street, what to do, how to finance, etc., has been an ongoing issue for some years. The Mayor has said that the purpose of studying the Main Street Coordinator position is to evaluate raising it to a higher level within the Town's management structure, perhaps reporting to the Town Manager or even the Mayor. The position would have greater authority to act on issues and recognition within the community, with the intent of escalating the development and implementation of policies, planning and actions.

So, what is wrong with these actions, regarding recruitment and the evaluation of a critical position? The answer is nothing is wrong, as they represent activities of a professional management, something this Town, up to now, has not seen!

Jim Hippel, Payson

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