Paty Henderson


What makes you a good candidate? What are your qualifications?

An understanding of the issues that affect Star Valley gained through observation and attendance of Star Valley council and committee meetings. A working knowledge of the history of the area coupled with a broad knowledge base and a steep learning curve.

Why do you want this position? My family has a tradition of service. My father was a Gila County supervisor for two terms after a career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which ended with him serving as an expert witness in treaty violations which included boundary and water disputes.

My son Justin is a wildland firefighter with the Forest Service and daughter Rose has done two tours of the Middle East in the Air Force and is currently training in the San Antonio area in conjunction with her reserve position at Luke Air Force Base.

I was brought up believing that democracy requires the participation of all citizens; it’s not a spectator sport.

What is your No. 1 priority and how are you going to accomplish this? Listening to the concerns of the people of Star Valley and providing a voice for them.

What has been Star Valley’s biggest success? Star Valley’s biggest success is being one of three towns in the state of Arizona that are operating in the black while finding creative ways to meet the needs of the citizens. An example of this is paving the roads while maintaining a budget that looks to the future.

What has been Star Valley’s biggest failure? I dislike the word failure because of the cultural overtones that failure has. A child learning to walk falls down many times, each time a failure. Eventually the child learns to walk after many “failures.”

We all learn by failing and advances are made by failing forward.

That being said, the one area Star Valley could improve is in communicating with its citizens. The demographics in Star Valley make this a challenge. Many of our residents do not have a computer and are more comfortable with a written format. Mailings are expensive and televising council meetings could be a possibility to facilitate community awareness.

Do you think the area needs more jobs, restaurants or businesses? If so, how do you propose attracting these things? A thriving economy is vital to all parts of the country. Many of us who have been in the Payson area have worked multiple jobs to keep body and soul together.

I view this as a trade-off. I work for a little less money but get to live in one of the most beautiful places in the state and breathe clean air with some of the best neighbors.

Four businesses have closed in the past year in Star Valley due to the rough economic times. Having meaningful work is important to all of us. Having work that pays fairly is equally important.

Certainly, we would all like more of the better things in life — health, wealth and places to enjoy them would benefit all of Star Valley.

What is your viewpoint on water? Water will be the oil of the 21st century. Water is currently handled as a commodity, something to be owned, bought and sold, yet we can only live for three days without water.


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