Growth Issue Is Intriguing



My family is new to the Payson area, it will be two years in July. Because of our newness to the area, I am not sure what to make of the current mayoral election. I met the current mayor at a function at the high school and he seems nice enough. I called his opponent when I saw his name and announcement in the newspaper, he seems nice enough.

What has me intrigued in this election is the growth issue. One candidate wants controlled growth, who in their right mind does not? The other is accused of being part of some type of growth conspiracy.

Being new here makes me feel like my family is part of the problem being discussed by the candidates, we do after all, represent growth. We simply did not recognize we were such a problem when we moved to Payson.

My wife is a nurse at the hospital, as everywhere hospitals are desperate for nurses, I teach part time at the local college, which also seemed to be in need of teachers. Our dilemma is, we feel like we added to the community in a positive way. It was not until this election that we began to feel that we, yes my family, was part of a bigger problem for Payson. I am just not sure to whom we owe an apology.

If it is the current mayor and his supporters, then let me take this opportunity to publicly offer my apology. We were brought up to believe that part of being a responsible citizen was to help improve our community as previous generations have done for us. Improvement generally includes helping nourish public facilities like libraries, schools, and other facilities through our payment of local taxes.

These improvements and our commitment to them reflect on our community. Growth is an integral part of improvement because it tends to provide additional resources to fund improvements. This has been true since the first pilgrims landed several centuries ago.

I understand that families have moved to Payson to avoid many of the problems faced by large cities, but to have an attitude that now I am here, let's not let anyone else in, well, is not only naive, but dangerous to the well-being of our community.

Like I said, I am new to the area and maybe I simply do not get it yet. But what scares me is if the past mayors had the current mayor's agenda, would we have the beautiful parks we now have? Would we have the new library? How about a Home Depot and a Wal-Mart? My sense is no we would not, we would look a lot like Payson did in the 1970s. This attitude, in my opinion, does not serve the long-term good of our community. But again, if it is a case of "I don't get it," please let me know to whom I owe an apology.

R. McEldowney

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