There are six candidates vying for the three seats on the Payson Town Council up for election. The race includes two incumbents and four challengers. The incumbents are Janell Sterner, who currently serves as vice mayor, and Barbara Underwood. Challengers are Dave Golembewski, Scott Nossek, Deborah Rose, and Jolynn Schinstock.
The last few issues of the Roundup have featured profiles of the challengers; this issue focuses on the incumbents, Sterner and Underwood.
Janell Sterner, 48, has made her home in Payson for seven years. She has worked as a K-8 educator for more than 15 years.
She has two children, two granddaughters and a third granddaughter due in August.
Besides her service on the Payson Town Council, she is part of the Northern Gila County Community Drug Task Force.
Sterner said she is running for reelection to continue giving the residents a voice in the community they live in and to make Payson a transparent town and develop a business friendly atmosphere.
“With this (second) term, I would like to work alongside the community again to find different funding resources for the capital improvement projects instead of always raising taxes or bonds,” she said.
Sterner said friends approached her four years ago and asked if she would consider running for town council with the knowledge and education that she possesses. “I have enjoyed being on the council very much,” she said.
Asked what she feels makes her the best candidate, Sterner said, “I will continue to work for the people by being proactive and listening to their concerns/complaints. I do my best to research the information on the agenda to make a fair and just vote. I would also like to see the residents and town staff work and communicate together as a community.”
She said serving on the council for four years gives her the life experience to make her an outstanding council member with the knowledge in all areas of the town’s affairs.
Asked to share what she thinks are her biggest weaknesses and strengths, Sterner said of her weakness, “I am too passionate about Payson, the community, my family and I only want what’s best for all.”
As for her strengths, she said, “I am very structured, organized and my faith in God.”
Sterner considers the following to be the top three issues to address in her second term: finishing the job to acquire a town manager; finding other funding resources to take care of capital improvement projects without raising taxes; get Payson back on a good economic footing.
She said she thinks the current council is doing a good job, “Some are working to improve Payson to create a healthy growing town for the residents first and then tourism.”
She said the best thing it has done is holding town leadership accountable for their actions. It has fallen short in continuing to help the town bring in new businesses to occupy the vacant buildings.
Instead of living by a motto, Sterner said, “I live by the precepts in my faith in God.”