Town councilor Mike Vogel was appointed last week by a unanimous council to the largely ceremonial position of Payson vice mayor.
He succeeds Councilor Ed Blair.
Actually, not only does the vice mayor preside over council meetings in the absence of the mayor, he or she also now has to recruit people to serve on the town’s boards, committees and commissions. The council shifted that job from the mayor to the vice mayor at the same time they decided to rotate the number two job every six months.
Councilor Blair wasted no time in congratulating Vice Mayor Vogel.
Blair said the job has all kinds of perks — like the chance to spell the mayor in a recent charity fund-raiser in the dunk tank.
“I only got dunked seven times — the mayor was 21.”
“But those seven times really helped,” quipped Mayor Kenny Evans.
“I wasn’t able to fill up all the boards and commissions,” said Blair. “I’m sure Mr. Vogel will do better.”
Vice Mayor Vogel accepted the honor with his trademark glower, breaking inevitably into his equally typical broad grin.
Payson extends toxic cleanup
The state Department of Environmental Quality will spend another $100,000 in its ongoing effort to clean up a plume of groundwater contaminated with toxic chemicals dumped by a long-gone dry cleaning business.
The Payson Council last week approved the annual extension of a long-running agreement to clean up the superfund site.
The state has for years been pumping water out of wells near the plume of contaminated groundwater and filtering out the potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
The hydrostatic pressure from the pull of the wells surrounding the spill are supposed to keep the contaminated water from spreading further into the town’s underground water table. At present, Payson gets all of its water from groundwater wells.
The town council’s approval of the agreement last week was routine, and the department of environmental quality’s measurements indicate the contamination poses no immediate danger to the town’s still operating groundwater wells.