Everyone must be content with the job Payson and Star Valley Town Councils are doing because no one is running against the incumbents in next year’s election.
In Star Valley, current Councilors George Binney, Barbara Hartwell and Gary Coon are the only ones to file paperwork to run in the March primary. In Payson, Councilors John Wilson, Rick Croy and Michael Hughes are running unopposed along with Mayor Kenny Evans.
The news stunned Binney and Hartwell who said they had heard several people were interested in running.
“I was shocked when I heard no one was running in Payson,” Binney said. “I am surprised, but most people don’t care — it really is sad.”
Wednesday is the last day to turn in election paperwork including the 22 signatures needed to get on the Star Valley ballot. In Payson, 199 signatures are needed.
If no one else turns in paperwork, there will be no general election with the primary solidifying the incumbents’ seats.
Hartwell and Binney, who have each served one term, said they grappled with taking on another four-year commitment, but ultimately decided they wanted to help the new town continue to grow and improve in the right direction.
Hartwell said she thinks the current council works well together, although they don’t always agree. This intelligent discussion assures good decisions are made, she said.
Hartwell said her opinions and attitudes, along with the rest of the council members’, are valued assets.
Working together, the council not only had most of the town’s streets paved, it is also in the process of acquiring the local water company.
In the next four years, Hartwell said she would like to see the town tackle a sewer system.
“I don’t care how much water we have, if we have contaminated water, we have nothing,” she said.
Teaming up with the Northern Gila County Sanitary District could lower the projected cost and make it a viable option, she said.
Binney said he would like to work more on flooding issues. The town has stalled a creek clearing project for a while after one homeowner threatened to sue.
Binney, who headed up the Floodwater Task Force for years, said he hopes to talk with this homeowner and get the project back on track.
Although obstacles like this are frustrating, Binney said the position is rewarding overall.
“I believe you have to be involved and try to make things better,” he said, instead of just complaining.