Is Payson Being Run By The Mayor

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Editor:

I have been reading of issues at town hall. First a town manager that "retires" with severance pay, this is very, very unusual. Then "dumping" the director of human resources position. What on earth is this mayor trying to prove?

You don't run a town hall efficiently without a town manager and a director of human resource with a town population of 16,000. It looks like Mayor Edwards is restructuring the town government to be run by the "mayor," rather than a town manager with mayor and council, working together for the good of the town. A mayor form of government is very inefficient and gives too much power to the mayor. Is the "mayor" striving for a dictator form of government where the staff is afraid to have an opinion. Both Glenn Smith and Gordy Gartner stated in their articles, the fear the town employees work with. They both worked under this condition and certainly should know better than the "mayor" the tension that exists under the current mayor/council.

Naturally, the "mayor" is going to deny this and claim, "I have regular conversations with many town employees. I have not experienced fearful employees."

Naturally they're not going to say anything that will hinder their job. Look what happened to the town manager and the director of human resources, they are gone because they had an opinion.

I have noticed numerous times the "mayor" either avoids answering a question or makes it look like it was stated by someone else. I have seen this happen several times at council meetings when he has stated he was just reiterating what someone else said. The latest was at the Sept. 20 council meeting, when citizens and employees commented on the need of a director of human resource. One woman referred to a statement the "mayor" had just made, and he said he didn't say that, but was just reiterating what someone else had said.

Does the "mayor" think he can say and do anything he wants regardless of the laws.

Gordy Gartner's letter pointed this out very clearly when he addressed the open meeting law and the process of terminating a department head. These weren't followed by the "mayor."

I can't imagine an employee going to the acting town manager/acting director of human resource/CFO (does the "mayor" think Debi is a super woman) with a personnel problem. This is not what I would call "a congenial work environment that allows each employee to achieve the best work," as quoted by the "mayor." You can't perform well when you work in fear. They have no one they can trust or talk to.

In listening to the Sept. 20 council meeting, Mr. Smith was the person they trusted and confided in. The director of human resources is a key position in any place of employment, not a position you "dump." Now we have a town administered and run by the "mayor" without the help of a town manager, and no one the employees can go to for concerns, either personal or regarding personnel. What is this "mayor" doing to our town.

Elizabeth Scott

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