Town Council Members Used Hearts In Helping Seniors


Sometimes politicians forget to stop politicking long enough to consider what is best on a very basic level for their constituents.

Rules are generally set for a purpose and are meant to level the playing field. But every once in a while, the heart beats louder than any conforming idea and triumphs over the head.

Such was the case at Thursday's council meeting when, instead of cutting funding as intended, the council approved additional funding to support the strapped senior center.

While the vote of approval and subsequent funding may have been unorthodox and even a bit unfair to other groups on paper, its importance is hard to measure.

It let community members know the council is comprised of human beings with feelings.

It let community members know that they will not go without, if they fight for something they believe in.

It let community members know the council cares about what is best for Payson, even if it means defying rules set in place for a reason.

The senior center will likely partner with the town in the next fiscal year, much like the Payson Humane Society, and receive a bit more funding to provide continued services to seniors.

Let us hope that the additional funding can ease some of the tension that the senior board and volunteers at the center face on a daily basis.

The center needs repairs and would like to expand its services to provide for even more seniors who are in need.

In a perfect world, such a wonderful and necessary place filled with such selfless and caring people would never have to struggle to make ends meet. It would never have a waiting list filled with a single name, much less more than 20.

There is a waiting list, however, and the floors and roof need repair. Continually rising fuel and packaging costs threaten to affect daily operations.

This isn't a perfect world. Far from it, sadly.

But the council's decision to follow something stronger than its own regulations and politics, echoed much louder than many other decisions in recent months.

All six members of the council who voted in support of the senior center showed compassion. They removed themselves from their seats behind the dais and placed themselves in the shoes of the volunteers and senior members desperately in need of some help.

Sometimes the best decisions are those made based on what feels right.

It was refreshing to catch a glimpse of the vulnerable, personal side of the council.

It was even better to see the heart triumph.

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