It is that time again, when the citizens of Payson have their opportunity to speak out on how their money is spent by the powers that be at town hall.
Remember, after all is said and done, the money spent by the town council, for whatever reason or project, belongs to the citizens of Payson and not to the town council. Therefore, the citizens have every right to question where that money goes, and why the town is suddenly broke and cannot continue to provide the quality or level of services that the citizens have come to expect.
Well, the answer is simple. 1) Revenue is down due to a poor economy, and, 2) costs, for everything the town buys have gone up, way up, in recent years, and most certainly up since 1980 when the idiotic law was passed to arbitrarily cap spending, forever, at the 1980 budget level.
I mean, come on folks, it’s a no-brainer to realize that no one, not you, nor I, and certainly not a town government, can maintain any costs fixed at 1980 prices.
With that concept in mind, I thought I would offer an analogy that just about anyone can understand, and perhaps if the good citizens of Payson will consider this analogy and give the situation some serious thought, then perhaps they may be inclined to pass the Home Rule and keep Payson running as it should, instead of killing the town.
Now, before I offer my analogy, I want everyone to understand that I have no vested interest in the outcome, even though my wife, Cindi, works at town hall. We are set to retire the end of June, the paperwork is in and the clock is ticking, and, we will be moving back to Oregon, so what happens in Payson will have no effect on our lives after June 30.
Also, I offer my comments because I am acquainted with the staff at town hall and I have lived here for 10 years and observed the changes in this community. Some for the better, some for the worse, but always I have believed that the people who make the decisions have done an outstanding job of at least trying to make decisions that benefit the town as a whole, with of course the occasional exception that cannot be avoided when a few special interest groups are involved, but those folks have been replaced and Payson is moving in the right direction overall.
Payson is fortunate to have qualified, competent, and caring people in management positions, and a mayor that I find to be a rare individual who actually wants Payson to prosper, and that is a refreshing change from the past.
Your town manager works harder than others in her position in other towns to get the job done with what she has to work with, as do all the people who answer to her because she will accept nothing less. Debra is one of Payson’s greatest assets, and I do hope you do not run her off.
Payson has water, with more to come if Home Rule passes, because Buzz Walker runs the water department. I know, Buzz and I have had our differences, but to set things straight, I must add that I kinda like the guy, and he has earned my respect because he is very good at what he does, and I respect a job well done.
Our disagreement is regarding ducks. I like to feed them, he likes to eat them, and, we do not agree on whether or not they belong in the park. I say yes, he says no, and that is the extent of our disagreement. Glad we have that cleared up.
So, now the analogy:
In 1980, the average car cost $12,000. Today, the same car costs $25,000, and after 30 years, the car probably needs to be replaced, but, I hold the purse strings and I am telling you to buy the same car for the 1980 price. Guess what, it ain’t gonna happen, so either I loosen up the purse strings, or you walk.
Oh, did I fail to mention that I know the car needs gas, but, you only get the same allowance for gas as you got in 1980? So, how far did you say you need to drive the car? Well, let’s see, gas costs three times as much as in 1980 (on a good day) so you can only buy one-third as much as you will need, so you are probably only going to drive one-third of the distance you need to drive, so make sure you leave early, and wear comfortable shoes.
I think you get the picture, now don’t let your anger with government in general make your decision for you, because it won’t take the two years town hall has to wait before you can change your mind to realize that YOU made the mistake, not them, but they, like you, will have to live with your decision and Payson will NOT be a better place when you figure that out.