Cockeyed optimist that I am, I've believed that a newspaper reporter's obligation is to inform, in an unbiased manner, the news. As I read your article, it seemedo me,ou slantedour words to implyr suggest, bring into question, the integrity of the petition organizers.
"The lead organizers of the petition drive have said they have no political affiliations. Bedsworth is a planning commissioner and member of a citizens group that had strongly backed former Mayor Bob Edwards." What does this have to do with supporting the rights of citizens to be involved in government? Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc.? To which affiliation do you refer? Signers of the petition have not been asked about "political affiliations." Many expressed appreciation of the YMCA, but wanted to vote on giving the organization unfair advantages over other businesses in town.
Commercial property rents forbout $3 a square foot -- if you strike a good deal. Our city council wants to enter into an agreement to lease five acres +/- of Rumsey Park, for "20-year initial term with 5-year renewals at YMCA's option." "Rent shall be $10,000 dollars per year for the initial term with a CPI for subsequent additional terms." Do these terms reflect fair competition with existing businesses?
It took 15 years to raise $1.745 million to build the Payson Public Library. They need to expand an additional 5,480 square feet, which will cost about $1.357 million.
The Payson Humane Society's new facility will cost about $3.6 million.
The effort and dedication of these two undertakings are, or should be, known and appreciated by Payson residents. People have been working for a number of years to realize these projects. "YMCA/Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation must raise $5,600,000 within 24 months of the effective date of the town council approving the lease." That's $5.6 million. In 24 months.
During these increasingly difficult economic times, I believe people need to prioritize their spending. There have been, and will continue to be, people who appeal to us emotionally, rather than rationally. Regarding the Y matter, I believe Payson citizens need to choose between supporting local businesses, or a competitor that is being offered outrageously advantageous terms.
I believe we need the Payson library. I believe we need the Payson Humane Society. I believe, ifhe YMCA wants to open a facility in Payson, it should buy and build it withts own funds.
I believe the citizens of Payson have a right to vote on this matter.
C. Anne Boisvert