After reading the newspaper on Tuesday, Dec. 9, I do not understand why our present mayor and city council has chosen to slash the parks and recreation department so drastically. This is the one department that is important to the families in Payson. Everyone (with the exception of the mayor and council) is aware that there is limited activity for the youth in Payson.
The town is suffering because of the decline in sales tax revenue, but do they realize that the people of Payson are the ones who are financially supporting this town, by paying sales tax? Now they are taking away the funding for parks and recreation that we, and our children, take part in. The council cut 16 percent townwide, while cutting 37 percent from parks and recreation.
Why only a 1 percent drop in the town attorney’s office? This is unconscionable! Why only a 10 percent cut in the police department? Maybe if our youth were kept busy with the parks and recreation, the police would not be so busy. The amounts of $886,000 for community development, $424,000 for financial services, $552,000 for information technology, and $297,000 for town manager’s office is totally ridiculous. Instead of laying off the parks and recreation director, why don’t these other, seemingly useless departments take pay cuts.
It’s time for Payson’s mayor and city council to take into consideration the families of Payson and not just their pocketbooks. With the voting down of the YMCA project and now the 37 percent cut in the parks department, we are left with nothing but a government bureaucracy.
It saddens me with what our elected officials are willing to do to our community programs. When parks and recreation positions/programs are cut, you are messing with what is offered to our children. When you continue to cut important programs that in turn affect our youth, it doesn’t leave much reason for families to want to reside or visit the Payson area.
These decisions that are being made will have a residual domino effect. I personally feel it is important to offer programs and facilities to our youth where they can partake in activities in a safe environment. It should be an obligation to our youth for the mayor and city council members to figure out a way to keep the parks and recreation department intact during these times of economic downturn.
My granddaughters are looking forward to being involved in the basketball and soccer programs. These programs, as well as others should still be provided for the youth. Other areas, not families, should keep parks and recreation going.
We the taxpayers of Payson are tired of suffering as a result of government mismanagement!