A Little Longer

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A little longer.

Dear Lord, just a little longer.

The long-suffering advocates of an Arizona State University campus in Payson continue to labor tenaciously against long odds to make the dream a reality.

They continue to push hard to acquire 260 acres of Forest Service land for the 6,000-student campus and assorted spin-off facilities. However, they’re also very prudently working out the timelines and development costs for other, privately owned parcels to keep in reserve.

The whole torturous process has sometimes felt like some great test of faith — or character. We have quivered on the brink of success for two years now, as the agencies that should have helped have created one needless obstacle after another. First, advocates had to win support of ASU’s formidable bureaucracy — and cope with an unexpected betrayal by the governor’s office. Now, they must navigate through the trackless wilderness of the Forest Service rule book.

You’d have thought that a federal government intent on reviving the economy, benefiting taxpayers and building a new, first-class Payson Ranger District facilities would have torn down barriers every time they encountered them. Instead, a process that in a reasonable world would have taken six months has gone into two years and counting.

But never mind. Building a university campus here remains vital to the economy of the entire region. The community-minded advocates who have spent so much time and treasure on this effort have done wonders — and made mistakes. But we’re confident no one could have done better and that their work will bear fruit.

In the meantime, we whisper our mantra: A little longer, dear Lord, a little longer.

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