Bob Edwards Is Good For Payson

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Editor:

I was a neutral slate. I didn't know Bob Edwards. He knocked on my door two years ago just like he knocked on yours. Then I began finding out things:

I visited my friend, the owner of a florist shop. She had relocated her shop to a more affordable location. Obstacles at the new location were raised because of town ordinances.

She was going to have to close her shop. "Guess what happened?" she gushed. "I called Bob Edwards, he said the purpose of ordinances is not to make it hard for small businesses. He helped me work through the regulation issues."

I read about the Red Elephant Bakery. They were being shut down because of an inadequate fire hood. Bob Edwards, working with the town council, suggested a common sense approach to codes, allowing this bakery to stay in business, saying, "This town needs more small businesses, not fewer."

One day I discovered there was a family living in the Edwardses' lower level. Not relatives. Not old friends. Katrina victims. A husband and a wife, she in a wheelchair with MS, he with previous heart problems. Some months later another family was staying there, a young mother afflicted with cerebral palsy and four young children. They had no place to go. I looked at this man, and his wife Ginger, with growing admiration.

Star Valley's political leadership were positioning for closure of Payson's tower well, and the relationship was strained. At the same time Star Valley needed police support, couldn't afford to pay what it would cost. Some might have thought it reasonable to say, "You folks have made Payson your enemy, why should we provide for your police service?" Or "Cut us some slack on the tower well and we'll give you police protection."

Mayor Edwards did neither. This statesman said, do you remember? "We will help with their police protection because it's the right thing to do!" And through his leadership a plan for service was developed that was within their budget.

In this time of wondering what really is "the right thing to do," In a time when politician's motives are all suspect -- with so many men and women running for political offices throughout this country, I am encouraged to have found a man whose demonstrated passion isn't self -- but the good of all of us he serves.

Annette Godfrey

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