I read with interest your “ourview” in the Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 Payson Roundup. I could not agree more with your comments and observations. It is indeed sad that the voters in Payson who, over time, have expressed their discontent with the Gila County government failed to turn out and vote when they had a significant opportunity to shift the decision making from South County to North County. While I find your comments well placed, in retrospect, I feel that you are in effect guilty of what an old expression succinctly addresses. You are “the pot calling the kettle black.”
Many feel that the Payson Roundup is the voice of the Payson community. As such, I feel that you did not fulfill your responsibility during this election. Not once did your paper help the public understand the importance of the election to North County. Not once did you publish any public service announcements urging people to vote. Not once did you reference the importance of this election in your editorials.
While your paper went on record as stating that you do not issue any endorsements during the primary elections, you failed to take into account the fact that several of the primary elections were in fact as important as the general elections since the only candidates were in a single party and whoever won the primary automatically won the general election.
I personally feel that the voters in North County failed in what was a significant opportunity to change the way things have been done, but the Payson Roundup also let us down. It does not appear that the Roundup stepped up in any way other than issuing a political tabloid in which the candidates placed their paid advertisements. Where was the community leadership that your paper should have displayed? Is it fair to criticize the voters, yet let your organization take upon itself the singular role of simply acting as a “Monday morning quarterback?” The “abysmal North County turnout” did indeed doom McDaniel’s effort to break the South County dominance of supervisors, and the Roundup contributed to the “abysmal” results by failing to take a positive role in the election. My only hope is that in the next four years both the electorate and the Payson Roundup can get their acts together and help North County become properly represented in the operation of Gila County.
Ivon A. English
Editor’s note: Gee. Really? We editorialized repeatedly , wrote numerous stories and printed a 32-page election special section several weeks before the election. We filled up our letters page with commentary. We covered the redistricting extensively. We’ also plan another election special section in October when the mail-in ballots go out. We think covering elections remains one of the most important things we do ‚ so we’re grieved to think that you needed more from us. We’ll try to do better.