Vote early. Whoops. Too late. Soon, it’ll be too late to vote at all. So please rummage about, find your ballot and cast a vote for the future of your community.
We’ll let you muddle through your choices for the Star Valley and Payson councils — beyond noting that we’re blessed this year with strong candidates for all the positions.
In Star Valley, the election would seem to pose a choice between a continuation of the move toward a new relationship with Payson and a shift back toward the roots of the water disputes.
In Payson, all four candidates have embraced an almost identical set of positions on the issues — so the question becomes whether to take advantage of former town manager Fred Carpenter’s 30 years of experience in local government at the cost of one of the three council members who have provided such good service in these past, difficult years.
Vice Mayor Mike Vogel sometimes riles opponents with his blunt and colorful views. Su Connell has devoted herself to consensus building and community groups. Ed Blair, the lone holdout from the growth-wary majority of the Bob Edwards era, has devoted himself to constituent service and shown up at countless town events.
We believe the candidates each offer great strengths and see no reason to depart from the Roundup’s normal policy of not endorsing in town council elections.
Vote ‘yes’ for Home Rule and school override
But we can’t pass up this opportunity to urge you to support both Home Rule in Payson and a vital boost in the Payson Unified School District budget.
Defeat of the Home Rule proposition in Payson would force devastating cuts, leaving the already struggling town without enough money for even current levels of police, water and fire service — even if the town abandons most other services, including the Blue Ridge pipeline and hopes for an ASU campus in town.
We can’t believe voters would lob off the legs of this town, when we have such a race to run to restore services and wise, targeted, effective growth.
But voters have grown so frustrated at the failure of the state and federal governments to address the current economic mess, that we’re fearful they’ll take it out on the only target available — town government, despite the council’s persistent, careful efforts to protect essential services despite dismaying drops in revenue.
We’re even more fearful when it comes to the urgent need to support the children of this community by supporting their schools.
Voters elsewhere in the state have rejected even modest school override proposals — as Payson voters themselves did almost two years ago, even before the current downturn.
The override proposal asks the owner of a $100,000 house to pay an extra $11 per year, to prevent an $800,000 annual cut in the hard-pressed district’s budget. Failure of the override will result in layoffs, larger classes and cancellation of essential electives and things like advanced placement classes.
The measure asks voters to secure the future of this community. School district officials fear for the results, since the majority of voters don’t have children in school.
We do not believe that Rim Country voters will prove so shortsighted. Surely, we all understand that other taxpayers paid to educate us and then our children. Every generation borrows from its grandparents and pays the debt back to their grandchildren.
We all reap the rewards. Working people are now paying the cost of the Medicare and Social Security benefits their parents and grandparents are collecting, as their children will pay theirs.
We’re all in this together and voters who reject the school bond issue to save that 3 cents a day will not only impoverish their community — they’ll harm their own financial futures.
That’s why we urge you to support Home Rule and the budget override for the Payson Unified School District.
Mail your ballot today. If you can’t find it, go to the district office or to town hall and get a replacement ballot.
It may be too late to cast an early vote, but it’s not too late to cast the right vote.