Councilors Look Back At First Year In Office


On May 23, a little more than a year ago, Mayor Bob Edwards and three councilors, Ed Blair, Su Connell and Mike Vogel were sworn into office on the Payson Town Council.

The four were elected last May, following campaigns that promised to change the way town government did business.


Bob Edwards

After more than 370 days in office, Edwards, Connell and Vogel took time to reflect on the last year and postulate on efforts they'd like to continue in the upcoming year.

Blair was in Minnesota for a family wedding and was unable to respond.

What one accomplishment are you most proud of during the past year?

Edwards: "Getting the citizens truly involved in government and getting them to believe they can make a difference."

Connell: "I feel we've been fairly successful in bridging the gap between the government and the townspeople. We've made headway in getting people to work together, instead of throwing stones."


Su Connell

Vogel: "Getting the town into the water business."

How has serving on the council been different than you expected?

Edwards: "It's more time-consuming than I expected, but otherwise it isn't a lot different than I expected."

Connell: "The horrendous amount of work is much more than I envisioned.

"The time element involved is more than I expected."

Vogel: "It's a lot more hours. I've always dealt with government, so I know how it works -- slowly. I still meet with anyone who calls, both for and against me."


Mike Vogel

What has been your biggest disappointment in the last year?

Edwards: "I don't very often get disappointed. It's not how I operate."

Connell: "I can't really say I've had a disappointment. Our meetings are much too long. That really is my biggest objection."

Vogel: "I don't know that I have disappointments. I have frustrations.

"Trying to get people in Payson to realize that I represent them and not another town is a big one."

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Edwards: "Finding time for myself. The people have been very good at that actually. They've respected that pretty well."

Connell: "Balancing my personal needs with business needs with council needs. It's hard to find a balance."

Vogel: "Patience with the system with which government works and more patience with everything."

Have you enjoyed the last year?

Edwards: "Yes, I really have. The most enjoyable part is the interaction with citizens. They've really responded."

Connell: "It's been very challenging. If someone would've told me a year ago that I'd be excited about drainage and streets, I would've said they were crazy.

"But I've enjoyed it and met some wonderful people."

Vogel: "Yes. Trying to help people out and working at it a bit is even more fun."

What do you want to do differently or better your second year on the council?

Edwards: "Getting the (town's) staff encouraged. We've got a great task. The key now is getting them involved. Also to have a firm water plan in place and a bigger emphasis on tourism."

Connell: "I hope that we can begin to make headway on the affordable housing project. I hope we can find a way to make Payson the fun, festival capital of Arizona."

Vogel: "I wouldn't change anything I've done. Consistency is important. It gives everybody an easier way to plan."

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