I have been on the board of the Citizens Awareness Committee for many, many years, almost, from the very restart of this political watch group. From my point of view, I am outraged by all this negative nonsense running through Payson regarding the building of a new jail (a courthouse) "etc." on property that, for the most part, the county owns on Main Street. To make a big issue about a jail on that corner is laughable. Until all this anti-county tax nonsense started, I suspect that 50 percent or more of the Payson residents never knew we even had a jail on that corner.
On Monday Oct. 22, the Citizens Awareness Committee had speakers from the county and those opposing the building of a county complex on that corner. The county's presentation was outstanding. Anyone with an open mind was impressed and would be more then willing to VOTE YES for the county building program. The group that was in favor of a "no" vote appeared to be tongue-tied. All we witnessed was a lot of mumbling.
All of the chatter about moving a couple of businesses seems meaningless. The county is willing to help those two or three places to relocate. I can assure you that if the county does not ask them to move, the town will. Payson has just hired a good man with a good salary, in an attempt to make Payson Main Street into a tourist attraction. Do residents really think they want an auto parts store, an old storage buildings complex and an old house with investment services on "Historic Main Street." I think a serious investor would go to an investing firm if his office was a modern outhouse. Needless to say, we all know about the vacant buildings in Payson, vacant because of high rent.
Speaking of money. Wake up "NO" voters. Just who is pushing for a "NO" vote on the county complex? Who is pouring all the money into those silly, little "NO" VOTE ads flooding our papers? It's the people with the money and the ones who own large tracts of property in Payson who currently cannot sell those properties. They would love to see Payson taxpayers and Gila County take that property off their hands. Who will suffer? We, the taxpayers.
Ah, yes and the ten million dollars the county has in reserve? You should be happy that the county has that money in reserve. You never know when something will happen in the future that would make that bankroll a good cushion.
Take a look at California. Do you have any idea just how much it cost an hour to fly a DC-10 airliner loaded with fire retardant on a forest fire or to find temporary housing for thousands of people.
Be glad the county has enough sense to have reserve funding, ...and really is a half-cent sales tax really that bad? Take a look at what the Town of Payson sales tax is and what the the state sales tax is. If you are complaining about high sales tax, go to them, not the county.
Vote "yes" on the county ballot. You will see, in the future, that you did the right thing.