I just read the letter from R. McEldowney, a new family in Payson of two years, and was saddened to think folks may think of themselves as the problem in growth in Payson. That is certainly not the case. Actually, all families are welcome to join the rest of us here who were once the newcomers on the block. And especially those who can contribute to what we offer, such as teachers, nurses, mechanics, cooks ... workers in every category that serve the public and give back in what they do, whether as employees earning a wage, or a volunteer giving of their own free time to make this a better place.
The issue of growth, in my estimation, is basically focused on building, not population. If you drive on almost any residential street in Payson you will find at least one house for sale, if not several -- single and multiple dwelling facilities, many of which are not selling at current pricing. I'm sure the number of locations for sale would be in the high triple digits to say the least, which is a great deal.
The biggest issue to me is the fact that there is currently almost no low-cost (housing) available for many of us. I can't complain about my own situation much as I am fortunate enough to rent part of a close friend's lovely home in order to survive here.
But, I know of several families, single parent households or otherwise, who cannot afford to live financially and save or even slightly get ahead. And, they are great contributors to what we need here in the Rim Country. There is a lot wrong with that picture.
When families like the McEldowneys are made to feel they may be part of the growth problem, or that there is something wrong about moving to Payson, it is a shame. But on the other hand, folks who may wish to live here should probably take a long serious look at what is really happening in Payson, Town Council or otherwise, when it comes to the issues of growth, low-income housing and building.
Wouldn't it be nice if somehow we could say to residents and newcomers alike that we care about them enough to offer at least a "healthy percentage" of decent low-cost housing as well as many fine homes for sale (such as those already on the market) without having to constantly worry about building? And as far as the idea mentioned by developer Mike Horton (shared equity mortgages), how many families out there are living on far less than $60,000 a year, which is above the average income for families in Payson? I think the greatest concern for low-income families is not the ability to purchase a home, but to even be able to rent one for a reasonable amount.
Let's get serious, folks. And, most certainly at the same time, let's make the newbies like the McEldowneys know they are welcome and we are glad they are here and that they are not a part of the problem of growth in Payson.