Town Needs Buzz Walker



In response to the letter from John Cailey regarding Buzz Walker and his return to the city staff under contract after retirement:

Mr. Cailey, your words are spoken like a true “experienced” conspiracy buff. You indicate that you are new to Payson, that you have 31 years experience in (I must assume) city government [and oh my, in a community “four times the size of Payson” ... whoopee] and that “where you came from” you have seen a similar approach to problem solving and not only did it fail to prove satisfactory, but this scenario provides opportunity for abuse and you are opposed to the concept.

Well sir, I suggest a couple of things. Start with getting to know the town staff. Then, research just a bit about Buzz Walker, meet him in person, learn about the fact that he is highly respected, not only by his co-workers, but also by his peers nationwide, and most importantly, learn the facts about where Payson is in the stream of time with the very complicated issues of bringing water to town via a proposed pipeline, and how Buzz has worked very hard, for years, to help make this happen.

If you do any of these things, much less all of them, you will certainly experience an attitude adjustment, and, you will clearly see that now is not the time for the Town of Payson to try and replace Buzz Walker.

Now, can he be replaced? Um, maybe, but, how long would that take, and what would be the impact on the community while a replacement is sought out? I would wager that it would take a long time to find an equally qualified person, to bring that person up to speed on the situation, and for that person to really get on board with the program that Buzz is currently in charge of.

And the impact? Well, that would most definitely be negative. So, if Buzz is willing to stay on, under any circumstances, then the Town of Payson had best be thankful for his decision to do so. Water will flow as a result, and the Town of Payson will prosper.

Now, for the record, Buzz Walker does not need me, or anyone else for that matter, to come to his defense. No, not at all. Buzz has earned the respect he enjoys because he is who he is, and he does what he does, oh so well, and that sir, is what being a professional is all about. Perhaps you should work at earning the same respect first, then you can voice your opinion with real knowledge, instead of innuendos.

As to Ray Erlandsen? Well, I do not believe I am qualified to speak to his arrangements so I am compelled to trust the judgment of the town manager, whom I also respect. If Debra Galbraith is in tune with keeping Mr. Erlandsen on as a contractor, then I will accept that decision, even though I will say that I am not a fan of the current planning policies Mr. Erlandsen has been instrumental in implementing for the Town of Payson, and it would be alright with me if he retired and Payson got a fresh face in that office.

However, my opinion may be influenced by the fact that I am a builder, and a believer in the right of all persons to choose the color they paint their home, and that makes for a bit of conflict with a person like Mr. Erlandsen who believes that his job is to choose for me. Maybe that is why I live in Pine, where I can paint our home the color my wife chose, and I did.

Jim Estess


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