The Empty Chair Debate



I listened to Stephanie and Tommie Martin on the KMOG Forum last Friday (Oct. 12). The conversation was pretty standard and then all of a sudden something very surprising happened. Stephanie stated that they weren’t going to be taking any more calls so that Tommie would have a chance to continue with her thoughts uninterrupted.

After only a few comments, Tommie started to respond to issues that have been brought out by Hallie Overman-Jackman during this campaign. Stephanie allowed Tommie to take each issue that Hallie has brought out and use her time to rebut them.

The first thing that she said was that Hallie’s claim that Payson contributes 82 percent of the county’s revenue was basically a lie and that she had no idea where Hallie got that information. Well, most of the town council members in Payson have known that for some time, but Hallie and I met with the county manager to be sure and he confirmed that to us. He stated that he hoped we didn’t think that we could get 82 percent of those revenues back! We said no, but we would like to get better services and better attention than what we have been getting.

There were other issues that we met with the manager to clear up and whatever Hallie said on those were confirmed by him: for example the women’s jail being over budget and over schedule. As far as the jail releasing dangerous felons, Hallie never said that! She said that because of overcrowding detainees were being let out on early release.

The issues are only secondary to the process here.

Friday’s Forum was Tommie’s own private debate, but without Hallie to rebut any of her accusations. When I tried to call to rebut them I was told that no calls were being taken.

At the end of the show Tommie said that was all she had and Stephanie commented that was all she had on her list. It was nice that Stephanie was there to prompt Tommie in case she had forgotten anything.

It seems as though the only debate here in Payson that Tommie is comfortable with is one with that infamous empty chair!

Tommie, let’s put this to rest. Stop spreading untruths and character assassinations about Hallie and agree to a legitimate debate with her here in Payson.

I’m sure we could find an organization to host such a debate if you are willing and unafraid. I know Hallie is.

Carol McCauley, campaign manager,

Hallie Overman-Jackman for County Supervisor District 1


Pat Randall 4 years, 3 months ago

Tommie has done more for Gila county since she has been in office than anyone else. She has probably forgotten more than Hallie will ever learn about the job. Tommie knows the people to talk to and get money for what we need and knows how to handle it once she gets it. Let's keep the person in that knows what is going on and knows how to get it done.

Where is the waterfall, retail stores, offices and homes Hallie was going to build on her property known as the Chilson property? When someone can't handle thier own business, how are they going to help Gila County?


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