Group Challenges Ymca Referendum


Editor's Note: The following is from a press release by the organization. Look to Friday's Roundup for a complete story.

A referendum drive assisted by Payson's two for-profit workout clubs violated state laws and should be tossed out, enabling the Payson Family YMCA to proceed says a new organization called Good for Taxpayers, Good for Families, Good for Seniors - Vote Yes for the YMCA - In Opposition to Serial # 08R-001.

In July, the Payson Town Council, by a 6-1 vote, endorsed a plan to create the town's first YMCA, a move that will save taxpayers millions of dollars. This collaboration between the YMCA and the town is critical, as it would provide a recreational amenity the town itself is unable to afford, the group said.

According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Gila County Superior Court by Payson resident Gile Sievers, YMCA opponents failed to follow state law and properly form a political committee before collecting signatures.

"A referendum in the City of Scottsdale was just ruled illegal for the exact same reasons these anti-YMCA petitions are invalid. We look forward to presenting these compelling facts and the law to the judge so we can, hopefully, begin further planning on this project rather than wait for an expensive election months from now, as well as the uncertainty that elections entail," attorney Tom Irvine said. "The laws violated here were passed by the legislature to bring sunlight into the process of referendum; failure to follow them is a serious violation that voids the petitions," Irvine went on to say.

"The majority of people and taxpayers in Payson understand the need and benefits of a new YMCA. We were proud to defend this plan before the Town Council and will do so before voters if need be. However, the laws must be followed if you are going to overturn the decisions of our elected officials and delay or jeopardize great projects like the YMCA," Rory Huff said. Huff is the Chairperson of Good for Taxpayers, Good for Families, Good for Seniors - Vote Yes for the YMCA - In Opposition to Serial # 08R- 001.

The Payson Family YMCA would include a gymnasium, climbing mountain, wellness center, teen center, multipurpose room and child watch facilities. Additionally, it would renovate and maintain Taylor Pool as part of the project, a move that will save Payson taxpayers millions more in future years.

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