I was stunned by the articles/profiles written by Pete Aleshire in the Feb. 19 Roundup. Early in my career I wrote features for a small suburban newspaper in Seattle. These two articles would have violated the guidelines given to me by my editor and never would have appeared in the paper. I realize that the writer of these columns, the editor and publisher, are all relatively new to Payson. However, that does not give license to print such biased profiles.
I have owned property in Payson for nearly ten years and have lived here full time for six years. I have closely followed the politics of the town through four different mayors. The first mayor was a good old boy in every sense of the word. The second mayor had substance abuse problems which blighted his term of office. The third mayor plunged Payson into a water war that led to the incorporation of Star Valley. The fourth mayor, Bob Edwards, has managed to bring a measure of cooperation on a number of controversial issues. He has looked at the various problems our town faces and has worked to bring about solutions and progress. I really appreciate that approach.
One of the greatest accomplishments of Mayor Edwards's administration has been the task forces he organized. The citizens of Payson have stepped up and given thousands of donated hours to researching various issues, saving the town money and accomplishing research that the town staff does not have time to do. The results of the task force research have been submitted to the town council as background material for the different issues that the town council faces, presenting information so that the council knows what the alternatives are on the various issues.
I am sure Kenny Evans is a really nice person who has the best interest of Payson at heart. However, we do not know how he would handle the stress and controversy that the position of mayor entails. I always wonder about leadership styles when no one knows the person, i.e. Kenny who? However, we know that Mayor Edwards has a proven track record of getting research done and presenting to the town council issues that have been resolved in a very professional manner. His administration has brought a businesslike approach to the town problems. In some cases solutions have been reached that previously had looked like unsolvable problems.
I would hope that in the future, blatantly biased candidate profiles will not be printed in the Roundup. The newspaper should reflect the facts without denigrating adjectives attached. The editorial page is where biased opinion belongs. Candidate profiles need to be factual and unbiased.