The Payson Police Department officially has a new police chief to replace the retiring Gordy Gartner and he couldn't have asked for a warmer welcoming.
The Payson Town Council, in a unanimous vote, ratified Town Manager Fred Carpenter's recommendation of Don Engler at last night's council meeting. The council, audience and town staff offered a standing ovation and round of applause for Engler.
Engler will begin his role as the new chief of police on July 1.
Engler thanked the council and community for their support throughout the two-month long selection process.
Engler said he has high expectations for his role as chief and plans to create an open environment to improve communication with the community and police department.
Mayor Bob Edwards offered praise for Engler. He said Engler is "a man of his word."
"I want to congratulate Don for prevailing in this process," Edwards said. "Don competed in the final analysis with four very tough competitors. The key to his selection, in my opinion, is that he provided the (selection) committee with a vision for the police department."
The council also approved a request by Carpenter to issue a call for bids for the lease of the Payson Municipal Airport to an independent, nonprofit corporation. Carpenter said that in a conference call with the Federal Aviation Administration and ADOT on May 1, both agencies expressed their approval for the lease project. Town officials are still waiting for written approval from both agencies but Carpenter said that if either agency has any objections they are likely to be minor.
The council held a first reading and public hearing regarding the doubling of water development fees. The council discussed whether the new fees would be allocated for specific projects. The council will likely discuss this issue in-depth at future meetings.
In other news, the council approved the appointment of seven members to the Design Review Board.
The members have staggered terms and include Levi Amon, Mareena Cords and Bernard Lieder, who will serve until Dec. 31, 2010; Deborah Hughes and Barbara Underwood, who will serve until Dec. 31, 2009 and Bill Ensign and Jeanie Langham, who will serve until Dec. 31, 2008.
Roy Bergold of the Mayor's Task Force, presented a proposed image document for the Town of Payson. The task force came up with the catch phrase "The Mountain Town with a Western Heritage" to summarize the image document that will represent Payson's character. The council will postpone approval of the document so that public input can be obtained. It will be discussed at the next council meeting, June 21.