Why did the Mud Springs extension issue pit friend against friend, neighborhood against neighborhood, and politician against politician.
How could such a simple project turn into such a mess? As Payson grows, methods and processes for resolving its problems also need to be developed. The Mud Springs example clearly shows that the concepts of planning and executing projects in the public sector have not been understood, or practiced.
There was no communications plan for the Mud Springs project. There was no effort to gain feedback from the public, and no effort to build consensus. The fact that the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) had to be forced into having a public meeting (Scheduled for Feb. 19) shows that basic concepts have not been understood, or practiced.
I attended the STAC meeting on Feb 6 and asked "What is the STAC doing to learn from the mistakes of the Mud Springs issue in order to prevent similar problems on future projects?" There was no response. The bewildered looks told me all I need to know. We have a challenge on our hands. If we don't fix this area of town government, we will continue to have similar problems.
Looking forward to Payson's elections, we have an opportunity to select leaders who can prepare us for the future. Hopefully, it will be a future where we learn from our mistakes, fix our problems, and do things right the first time. It's not enough for our candidates to have the ability to listen to our opinions. We need candidates who can take good advice, exhibit the capability to move the town away from bad practices, and toward fixing problems.
J. Morris Brown