Tonight, I hand over the gavel.
To you, the new council... this council leaves you a Town government that is solid; much improved and on a charted course that, if followed, will let Payson achieve its great potential.
We leave you with: a permanent water supply; streets and drains that are much improved and a plan for their completion; a managed growth plan to make Payson the great mountain town it is capable of being;
A new image for Payson and a new tourism Web site successfully promoting it as evidenced by the turnout at the rodeo and the Aero Fair; a citizenry that is energized and ready to serve and a very capable staff, ready to carry out the citizens' work and the council directives.
Payson is better today than it was two years ago. I challenge you, the new council, to complete those activities that are in process but still not complete.
Budget... Put into place a true rainy day fund to make sure this is the last time Payson government gets impacted by a bad national economy.
Finish the capital improvement plan... making sure it is in line with the goal plan. Goal plan... you now have a "Citizen Generated Payson Goal Plan"... make it the driving force for all Town government action.
Crime and Drugs... We need to become outraged and stop accepting crime and drugs as inevitable... I implore you to do a frontal attack on drugs and make Payson a true "Drug-Free Zone."
Teens and Youth... Look at using the Senior Center at night for a teen center.
Alternate Route... Continue to pressure ADOT to make this happen. This is critical for Payson's future.
Ethics... We passed a strict Ethics Policy, now make it real.
To the Citizens of Payson...
Much of what we set in place in the last two years should continue in the direction we started.
Streets... should continue on the path we set.
Drains... we have solved the major problems and the budget is adequate going forward... so the progress should continue.
Economic Development... All the pieces are place and beginning to take effect. We have two new industries that fit our image and more will come and tourism is set to flourish.
Staff... They are functioning very well and under good leadership. There are just a couple of remaining areas that need improvement.
Water... is in great shape. The Blue Ridge agreement is signed and just needs to be carried forward on the Water Department's current plan.
Some areas to watch...
Managed "Smart" growth... This is the area of real concern. During the campaign, all the incoming council committed to pulling away from it. If we keep the 250 limit in place, we can honestly say we will be well within safe yield all the way to build- out, but if we eliminate it we can't.
Citizen control of government... this is another area where you need to stay vigilant... we gave you control, don't lose it by inaction.
Task Forces... Clearly the Town was well served by them.
They effectively addressed many of our problems and have saved the Town the thousands of dollars. We should not lose their input and should not burden the Town with more committees.
To those who support the issues we fought for... managed growth, planned government, controlled budgets, better streets and drains and citizen control of government, I offer you these thoughts.
Clearly define your goals and convey them to the new council... praising them when they move them forward and pointing out when they don't. Remember, it is not who is driving the boat that is important but where it is headed.
Finally, stay engaged... You should not walk away from involvement in Town government, your objectives are right.
My team's pledge to the new council going forward...
While we are passing the gavel... we are not walking away. If you work for Payson...we will support you. If you work for special interests...we will oppose you.
It is our great hope that in two years we can join in unison saying "Congratulations on a job well done."
In closing... I ask your indulgence to allow me to thank those who made the progress of the last two years possible.
First... the one person who had to live through this with me but who had to do it without the Teflon coating provided to the office holder... Ginger, I can never thank you enough.
Now, let me give a special thanks to a very special person that gave almost as many hours as I did in the last two years... the man we jokingly refer to as our unpaid "Chief of Staff"... Leon Keddington. And to Elizabeth... thanks for loaning him to the Town.
And to the rest of my advisory team... Hal and Kathy Baas, Roy Bergold, Gary Bedsworth, Al Poskanser... thanks for the long hours and the flak you had to endure.
Tom Loeffler and Dave Rutter who put their life on hold during the recent campaign... thanks for that and all the sage advice you have given me.
Task force chairs and their members... Thanks for all you gave to the town. And thanks to all the citizens who came forward to give of their time for special projects.
Our current council... I pushed you hard and you responded. Your leadership on many projects has made Payson a better place. Our main office staff... you have been a real joy to work with.
Legal staff... we created many challenges for you but you were up to them.
Debra Galbraith... you have met and exceeded all our expectations.
Finally... the citizens of Payson... thank you for entrusting my team with the opportunity to work for Payson.
Kenny... I give you this gavel, this phone and this chair... use them well.
Good-bye and God Bless.