An open letter to Mayor Kenny Evans:
I am writing to express my concern over the possibility of appointing Mike Vogel to a paid economic development position on the Town staff.
Not only is it disingenuous to the voters after he was voted out of office, but to create a paid position for Mr. Vogel when Payson has severe budget problems also demonstrates a disdain for your constituents.
Aside from the above, this would be a public position that requires an open, public recruitment in compliance with equal opportunity employment laws. You may correct me if I am wrong, but if you create such a position, you will have to properly post it along with the requirements, then accept and review applications. Anything less would be a violation of law.
Speaking of requirements, economic development is a specialty and there are professionals who do this for a living. What qualifications would Mr. Vogel bring to the table? The Payson Roundup reported that he was instrumental in recruiting an ammunition company to Payson. I submit that that is not an accomplishment. An ammunition company poses an extreme hazard and has special challenges in finding a location in the first place. I doubt they would be allowed to locate in or around any large city or residential area. They were probably more than happy to find Payson willing to allow them to set up shop here. And given the hazard, one must ask whether Mr. Vogel did our Town any favors by recruiting them.
Frankly, recruiting a single company to Payson does not demonstrate any real economic development accomplishment. Historically, I cannot recall that anyone has ever made any real strides in this area. The county has never brought companies to Payson and created any significant number of well paying jobs and neither has the chamber of commerce or PREDC. So what’s the point in repeating the mistakes of the past, especially at taxpayer expense?
If you are determined to pursue economic development in Payson, you will need to lay the groundwork. First and foremost, Payson needs a robust, well-trained and educated work force which it does not have a present. Then you must also have a decent infrastructure such as natural gas and state-of-the-art telecommunications, both of which are lacking. As of now, there is little reason for a company to come up here when it can locate in the Valley where all these things are readily available.
So, why are you intending to waste more taxpayer money (that doesn’t exist) except to do Mr. Vogel a favor? Since you are a public servant like any other, I believe you are accountable and obligated to respond to this letter.