by Kenny Evans, Mayor of Payson
Once again Payson has an opportunity to discuss the issues we face and direction the community would like to go as we hold our 2014 elections. I welcome that opportunity for voter direction.
It is hard to run for public office and I am not offended, but pleased, that voters will have a choice this year. It’s good that Payson has folks who are willing to step forward. I look forward to local candidates clearly articulating their position so voters can make an informed choice. That is as it ought to be.
This social experiment we call America emerged from good ideas made great. They became great not by conflicts decided by military or financial might, but by compromise born of reason and empowered by consensus. Unfortunately much of today’s social media has turned terms like “consensus and compromise” into political poison pills.
Enduring greatness does not emerge from singleness of thought, but by embracing differences. It was true for our Founding Fathers and it is true today. It is by recognizing and learning from our differences that true hope for the future evolves.
Civil discussion and debate illuminated by public discourse is the way to lasting progress. It produced this great nation. It can produce a great community.
The seeds of greatness were planted by those Founding Fathers’ passionate debates. Communities, as well, make our greatest progress based on consensus forged from public discussion, civil debate and prudent compromise.
As your mayor, I wish I had the capacity to do more; to help more; to fix more. Many restless nights have been spent pondering about what more could have been done. It hurts when a business closes or another foreclosure sign pops up ... or there is one more infernal Forest Service delay. Yet even though I understand that out of the ashes of failure, dreams can emerge; it still tugs at my heart strings. I yearn for a better tomorrow.
Sound commerce and individual responsibility must be the cornerstones on which we build. I am thrilled to see the new businesses that are opening around town. The sound of construction crews and heavy equipment annoys some (some even call to complain) — but it is music to my ears as business activity finally returns. New businesses are coming to town. Current businesses are expanding or remodeling. New homes and subdivisions are under design and construction.
These positive changes are a welcome relief after this long, devastating recession, but they are only the beginning as we open the next chapter for Payson.
The seeds have been planted. We see a new level of cooperation and respect between the Town and the Tonto Apache Tribe; between the towns of Payson and Star Valley; between the Town and the school district; between the Town and the community college; between Payson and Gila County and the stat ... and even the feds! It is refreshing to watch how working together, side-by-side, we see benefits accruing to our community and all of Northern Gila County.
Hope for a better tomorrow coupled with the need to continue cultivating our progress has led me, after much reflection, to offer to continue to serve as your mayor if you voters so chose.