Political Leaders Need To Step Up And Help

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Editor:

Last year a contract was awarded to a company to thin the national forests in northern Arizona. Even though this company offered less services than the next bidder. This may be due to some good old boy strings being pulled to give the contract to a company that employs a retired Forest Service executive. This lucky company is “owned” by an 84-year-old man whose business history is shaky at best.

This company has failed to perform; completing less than 10 percent of the forest thinning required in the contract in the first year.

Instead of canceling the contract, it appears that the Forest Service leaders are allowing this “company” to sell the contract to another company for a secret and undisclosed amount of dollars. This company will make a profit for failing to perform.

Senators and representatives, please ask the Forest Service to cancel this contract and rebid it to a legitimate company that doesn’t have retired Forest Service personnel sitting on the board of directors.

The regional offices of the Forest Service are headed up by non-elected individuals who seem to be responsible to no one for whatever decisions the man in power at the time decides to make. When this boss manages to alienate the local civic leaders by obstructionism and less than acceptable decisions, as what happened in Payson a few years back, he is transferred to another forest district to continue his policies.

Locally Payson residents are at the mercy of the Forest Service to obtain Blue Ridge water, get the OK to build a university and decide if we get the forest thinned so we don’t burn.

Outside the town, this same outfit decides who can run cattle, how many, where they can graze and for how long. The two copper mine applications in Superior and close to Globe have been on hold for more than a decade because of the Forest Service.

Please Senator McCain, Senator Flake, Rep. Gosar and Rep. Kirkpatrick, help us with this Arizona problem.

Ted Paulk

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