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Who will be chosen Best of Rim Country?

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Who serves up Rim Country’s best Mexican food? Steak? Fish fry?

And who really has the best gems (jeweler), vehicles (dealer) and nuts and bolts (hardware store)?

Find out Monday during the Payson Roundup’s annual readers poll gala at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino.

Already, Roundup readers have cast 1,200 ballots both online and through paper ballots.

Since the newspaper launched the gala four years ago, the event has drawn a larger crowd every year. It could be thanks to the free hors d’oeuvres and drinks, but we like to think people are proud to support local businesses who have struggled through the recession.

Last year, several hundred people gathered around tables and when those were full, lined the back walls in the casino’s banquet hall.

While they cheered, the nominees in the 84 categories fidgeted in their seats. They came hoping to win bragging rights for the year as Roundup readers named their favorite in just about everything.

Categories include cooks, cops and chiropractors, doctors, dentists, antique shops, auto mechanics, hair dressers, dog groomers, bartenders, bistros and bankers.

This year things are a little different. The Roundup streamlined it to 69 categories to focus more on people and services, like best lunch spot, rather than best hamburger.

And new this year, the second and third finalists will also receive a certificate. Before, the top three finalists took a bow, but only the first place finisher took home a certificate. After this year’s awards show, second and third place can pick up certificates.

“We want to acknowledge that they are all winners,” said Paula VanBuskirk, who is tallying the votes.

The Roundup started the readers poll in the ’90s under then-publisher Dave Price, but simply published the results. In 2010, current publisher John Naughton decided to up the ante and hold an annual gala.

Doors open at 5:30 and the event kicks off at 6 p.m. in the casino’s ballroom.

Comments

jeff durbin 10 months, 1 week ago

The Worst of Payson

The parking lot and east entrance at the Post Office.

Speed limit on McLane.

No healthy activities, entertainment or mentoring for teens.

Easy heroin and crystal meth availability, but speeding is nearly eradicated.

Very liberal newspaper, if “newspaper” at all.

No love for homeless or abandoned, but an entire page in the paper for abandoned pets.

Lack of business/employment creation or retention. Zero leadership.

Public schooling that is nothing but indoctrination and always raising the tax base.

A college that offers “free” tuition for seniors, while charging the tax base.

30 churches that are nearly dead while two are filled.

By the numbers, the Casino, Pete’s Place and liquor store being the best places for recreation.

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Maggie Meares 10 months ago

Also...only 1,200 readers cast ballots out of how many residents? Like not even one tenth of the population of Payson voted? Pretty Dismal voting process don't ya think....It's like the good old boys club. Kudo's to those that one, no matter what the process is I guess. Love Jeff Durbin's comment though...It's sad but true!

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Kim Chittick 10 months ago

Ms. Meares, if the voting process was "like the good old boys club:, it is not the fault of those that won (one), but rather of those pathetic people who don't take part in things, don't vote, but then want to shoot their mouths off about it.

Like, you're right, not even one tenth of the population voted, does that make it unfair? Does that make the winners unworthy? The voting process was made extremely simple: You could actually write on your paper and send it to, or drop it off at, the Roundup offices, you could vote on line on your computer from home while in your jammies, you could vote on the Roundup's Facebook page, the Roundup made it as simple as anything to vote, and still more than 99% of the town's population chose to not avail themselves of the process, and yet they sure want to complain about how it was done, and who didn't win, and what else is wrong with the town.

Mr. Durbin and Ms. Meares? Are either of you involved in the community, in any way other than posting on here? Town Council? Volunteer? PTA?

Almost 20 years ago, I told someone that if they didn't like what was happening to their town, they needed to get involved, and make a difference. You know, lead, follow, or get out of the way! If you are not willing to make a difference, then you don't have the right to make a complaint.

Surprisingly I do agree with much of what Mr. Durbin said, but, really...it is like comparing apples to oranges. The Best of Payson is about people, and services, activities and organizations, not about road or parking conditions, or drugs or what the schools do or don't offer.

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Pat Randall 10 months ago

Jeff Durbin, You are my new friend. You hit the nail on the head except for one thing. Teens don't want to leave their computers or get out of the back seat of the car. There aren't as many things now as there was because the teens didn't use them.

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Kim Chittick 10 months ago

Hmmm, there sure seems to be an awful lot of generalizations flying around.

I am going to address each of Mr. Durbin's complaints:

"The parking lot and east entrance at the Post Office." Ok, I'll bite...other than the fact that that portion of Frontier is a one way street, and that there are monster speed bumps in the parking lot, what is so wrong with this parking lot?

"Speed limit on McLane." Ok, again, not sure what you are unhappy about. Is it too fast, too slow? Do you live on McLane and cars driving by make it difficult for you to exit your driveway?

"No healthy activities, entertainment or mentoring for teens." I am just curious, was there mini golf and a batting cage, and a bowling alley, and a movie theatre, and a WalMart Supercenter, and Beall's, and Stage, and Green Valley Park, and Rumsey Park, and ball fields in Payson since the beginning? Didn't think so. It is NOT up to the Town to ensure that teens, or anybody, for that matter have something to do. There is plenty to do, if you are willing to look.

"Easy heroin and crystal meth availability, but speeding is nearly eradicated." Again, are you saying that the Payson Police are spending too much time on eliminating speeding that they should be spending on eradicating heroin and crystal meth? If so, isn't that at odds with your concerns about speeding on McLane? Now, make no mistake, I absolutely agree about heroin and crystal meth. They are vile and do need to be eradicated, however, not to the exclusion of all else the Payson Police have to do.

"Very liberal newspaper, if “newspaper” at all." Hmmm, can't argue with this one, but, I am fairly certain that you do have the right to not read it.

"No love for homeless or abandoned, but an entire page in the paper for abandoned pets." Not sure where you get your contention that there is no love for the homeless or abandoned, I happen to know of at least 3 shelters for them, and many more organizations which offer assistance. What more is supposed to be done? And do pets not matter?

"Lack of business/employment creation or retention. Zero leadership." Well, yup, we do have a Mayor and some council members who seem to have more of an obstructionist point of view, rather than development and building up of the town.

continued...

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Kim Chittick 10 months ago

...continued

"Public schooling that is nothing but indoctrination and always raising the tax base." Can't dispute this.

"A college that offers “free” tuition for seniors, while charging the tax base." Yep, I understand the problem, and definitely agree with you Mr. Durbin.

"30 churches that are nearly dead while two are filled." Not sure I know where Mr. Durbin got this information. I know that my church is filled fairly well on Sunday morning. And most other churches that I happen to drive by, seem to have a fair amount of participation. Certainly, there may be a few church buildings that are closed up, but there are many more that are vital and active. Although, what does this have to do with anything? Is there resentment because of the two which are filled?

"By the numbers, the Casino, Pete’s Place and liquor store being the best places for recreation." Well, the Casino does have a couple of great places to eat, Bingo and of course gambling. Pete's, well, I have never been inside, so have no clue what the attraction is. And the liquor store...we have two in town and both sell a lot more great stuff besides liquor. So, not seeing the problem.

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