Campus Advocates Have Already Worked Wonders


We admit it. We’re a little wired: Emotional, impatient, fixated on deadlines. Waiting is hard. Waiting quietly is harder — especially when the future of a community we love so dearly hangs in the balance.

So this visionary three-year effort to build a 21st century college campus here has driven us half crazy, caught between hope and fear.

We wrote a couple of editorials expressing that frustration and speculating on whether Arizona State University remains the best possible partner.

Elsewhere on this page, ASU Vice President Richard Stanley responds to those editorials with a letter insisting the university remains committed to working out a deal.

We’re glad. We hope that things work out with ASU. Granted, we still wish ASU’s public statements sounded more ardent than Stanley’s most recent letter. However, we accept the timeless wisdom of the Rolling Stones: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need.

So we’ll renew our vows of patience.

And once more express our profound gratitude to the people still working with such deep love of this community to make this vision become a reality, and this certainly means the leader of the group, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans.

We don’t doubt for a moment their fierce commitment and the selfless dedication that has brought these negotiations so far and against such daunting odds.

Standing on the outside, it’s easy enough to lob well-intentioned suggestions into the foxhole from behind, like so many smoldering grenades.

Clearly, the negotiations with ASU have reached the end game. Hopefully, both sides will come to an agreement in the next few weeks that results in the college of our dreams in the next two years. If the two sides negotiating this complex project in good faith can’t settle on those final details, we’re confident the people who have brought us this far will shift to the backup plans they’ve prepared with such foresight.

Even if ASU concludes its interests lie elsewhere, another university will undoubtedly reap the Herculean efforts that have already established the Educational Alliance, enlisted private industry partners, designed the campus and acquired the land on which to build.

In the meantime, we’ll refrain from second guessing — and hope you’ll all do the same.

People like Evans and the community leaders who have volunteered for the difficult, selfless job of serving on the board of the Rim Country Educational Alliance have earned our confidence — and our gratitude.

Vote offers proof that redistricting mattered

Just in case you were wondering why we made such a stink about redrawing boundaries for the county’s supervisorial districts — check out the front page article on a little county budget dust-up.

Turns out, the county has $600,000 in money earmarked for remodeling or buying office space. And it has two pressing problems: It’s spending $100,000 annually to rent poorly designed space for the probation department in Globe, and the Payson office doesn’t have a decent meeting room — especially for people to interactively view meetings of the board of supervisors.

Once upon a time, the two supervisors whose districts are based in south county would have undoubtedly made the Globe probation offices the priority — even though the probation officers in Payson were so pressed for space they were meeting with parolees in the public library.

Instead, the supervisors directed county staff to come up with a plan that could divide up the available $600,000 in a way that would solve both problems — improving both probation facilities in Globe and a backup board meeting room in Payson.

In case you think we’re straining in linking that decision to redistricting — please note that Supervisor Shirley Dawson herself pointed out that if we end up with two supervisors from northern Gila County after the next election, they can’t function during board meetings jammed into that little room almost entirely filled by the single conference table.

So we applaud the supervisors for insisting on priorities and solutions that work in both ends of this county.

And we compliment them again for having done the right thing when it came time to adopt the new district lines and putting the interests of the county ahead of their own political comfort.


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