Council Should Vote Against Mogollon Ridge Project

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Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of the citizens of Payson and its town council a matter that I believe reeks of cronyism, vote buying, violation of town ordinance and policy and procedure.

Last year this very council voted down a zoning request for the project known as Mogollon Ridge. It is more infamously known as the Orange Fence property behind the Home Depot. A group of neighbors opposed the project; Mr. Blair said that he would never vote for it because it required the use of Star Valley water.

Well, now that we are in the middle of an election, the worm has turned.

Mike Horton, the owner of the property meets with the mayor and suddenly the Orange Fence comes down. Meanwhile, Mr. Blair, the outspoken critic who led the opposition, finds that it's OK to use Star Valley water. Oh yes, where are those neighbors who so opposed the project last time around?

The real problem is that the mayor has fast-tracked this project, obviously as part of his deal with Mr. Horton to bring down the Orange Fence, and silence all of the critics, and moved this to preliminary plat submittal before the required rezoning approval by the town council, an unheard-of move, and a violation of town policy. At the same time, the mayor has curried favor with some voters and taken credit for bringing down the Orange Fence.

This is an outrage, and a politicized manipulation by the mayor for Mr. Horton's benefit. This town council must vote against the rezoning approval.

Finally, why is there no requirement for a contribution to Payson affordable housing by Horton? This town council must also ask for a full investigation of the facts and circumstances of this zoning process by the mayor. The public must ask the same, and I ask Mr. Blair, a former minister, how he can publicly flip flop about his position on Star Valley Water.

Don Evans

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