Editor’s note: Each week we print a selection of anonymous rants and raves submitted by our readers. Keep them under 300 words, free of profanity and personal attacks, and have at it. You need not sign your submission, which you may e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Gazette Editor, 7736 N. Toya Vista Road, Payson, AZ 85541. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Gazette staff.
And don’t forget to visit BY THE PEOPLE. Just click on the right. You can leave your comments on any subject there as well.
Home Rule-Why a No Vote Makes Sense: Have you ever heard of the politician who was able to spend less than he or she had? A politician who could save for a rainy day, set up a reserve fund for when times are bad? I have not. And neither did the voters of the State of Arizona. At a special election held in June 1980, Arizona voters approved a constitutional amendment designed to limit the annual expenditures of all Arizona cities and towns. The law forced politicians to limit their spending and increase it only based on population and inflation. This makes sense to me. This is how I run my home budget. In fact, it allowed me to save money over 30 years of working so I would have funds for emergencies and could enjoy a comfortable retirement. I did not spend every dollar I earned, but saved 20 percent each year. Unfortunately the Payson Town Council feels that this is not the way they should have to run the town. They want to spend every penny of taxes they collect, and in the case of this year, even borrow money! If they had forced themselves to save since 1980, like the law would have required, they would have the rainy day funds set aside so as to be able to keep our roads maintained and town employees working full time in these bad economic times. Now the Payson Councilors are running around trying to scare the voters into voting yes for Home Rule. But be wise and listen instead to the voters of 1980. History has shown us they passed a good law. Force our Town Council to save for the future because none of us knows what it will bring, and we know a politician has not met a dollar he or she could not spend. Vote No on Home Rule; it’s the financially responsible choice.
After reading the article in the Roundup about how everyone working for the Town of Payson must take two days a month furlough, except Debra Galbraith, I was sooo wishing that the Gazette was still in service so I would have gotten Jim's take on this instead of reading the Roundup. Such B.S. They? Whoever " they" are have changed the whole salary structure of the town in order to allow salaried employee's to take a furlough. Everyone, but the town manager is hourly? Can you believe that Debra cannot take a furlough because she must be available 24-7! I guess that means she never gets vacation or is allowed to be sick because what would happen if the town manager was not available? Give me a break! The town manager can cover for the chief of police or the fire chief? The police along with the fire department are much more important 24-7 than the town manager. Does the town not think that every criminal can read the paper! Look at the financial shape of the town of Payson! It changes weekly? I will say I don't know enough about the town manager’s position or the finances of the town to say if Debra Galbraith has done a good job or not. This is not judging her competence, it's about the fairness by whoever " they" are in making the decision that the town manager did not have to go to an hourly wage or take a furlough. Has the town manager ever taken a pay cut? Not to my knowledge. Did they just hire a financial manager? What makes the town manager so unique? Also, Payson Mayor (Kenny) Evans totally disrespected Ed Blair when his comment made at the council meeting made the most sense! I applaud him for telling the truth. Yes the town is balancing its budget on the back of their employees. I'm surprised that Ed had to tell the Mayor. Finally, if a manager has performed his or her job well and trained/mentored the direct reports on all aspects of managing, there should never be a person who can't be replaced.
(Editor’s note: We offered Payson Councilor Ed Blair the opportunity to comment on the above rant. He accepted:)
After the decisions were made, I made a statement for the general public saying I was sorry that the budget had to be balanced on the back of the employees. The mayor said that there were many other deductions to the budget and it wasn’t 12 percent of the budget and their reduction was only 6 percent. I apologized and said I wasn’t thinking of a two year average but only of the present time, which is 12 percent of their Jan-June salaries. My thought, which wasn’t reported in the Roundup, is that though some $1 million came from departments’ budget. IT ALSO TOOK THE $302,000 FROM THE EMPLOYEES TO MAKE THE BUDGET BALANCE. So, in summary, without their salary contribution, it wouldn’t have balanced.
The other topic: When the town manager is on vacation, or sick, or at a conference she designates someone (or several) to handle different kinds of problems…but if that person(s) doesn’t feel competent or has a question, she is on call 24/7/365 to make the decisions. She is ultimately responsible. What with the different department heads also on furlough, and not even supposed to answer their town cell phones on those days (says some federal/state law about furloughs), their personal backups might have a question…so call the town manager. Also, with emergencies, she wants to know IMMEDIATELY…as she is responsible for coordination. I think it’s wise to have someone responsible. If we don’t like what’s happened or happening, we will replace the town manager.
With (Roundup Reporter Pete) "Toady" Aleshire fawning and drooling all over the mayor and the town council, people wonder why we need two newspapers in this town? Thanks to the Gazette team for helping to make it happen.
(Editor’s note: Current plans call for the first issue of the Mogollon Connection to be on the streets Feb. 10. Stay tuned here for the latest on the new paper.)
Did anybody else notice the article on the front page of the Jan. 21 Business section of The Arizona Republic. It detailed how a San Francisco newspaper won a $15.9 million judgment against a rival newspaper because the latter slashed its advertising rates as part of an effort to financially harm the former. Is it true or not that the Payson Roundup did the same thing to harm the Rim Country Gazette? There are even rumors that the Roundup offered at least two Gazette advertisers free ads if they would stop advertising in the Gazette. Is anyone willing to come forth and clear the air on this rumor?
What a storm! It is appropriate that we pause here and thank the rain gods or whomever was responsible for getting 2010 off to a great start precipitation-wise. We can’t take such events for granted.
It’s pretty obvious why the Republicans can’t stand Nancy Pelosi and want to smear her at any cost – especially the truth. She’s a woman who can hold her own in a man’s world. That goes against everything the Republicans stand for – keeping the baldheaded, potbellied white guys in control, protecting their stuff from people less fortunate than they are. If we hadn’t given women the vote, we wouldn’t have all these problems, right big fat, bald white guys?
Why didn’t the GOP work with the Democrats on health care instead of being obstructionist? They know we need reform. They could have worked to produce a bill more to their liking. Instead, they behaved unconscionably by not participating, and by spreading false and malicious lies about the bill.
The right is realling showing its true colors when talk show hosts like Pat Robertson try to play politics with the earthquake in Haiti. How can people who care so little for their fellow men look themselves in the mirror in the morning. Oh that’s right, there are no mirrors in radio.
Thank you for Jim Keyworth’s article about (Star Valley Mayor) Bill Rappaport’s accomplishments as mayor. Ditto for Matt Brabb’s article about the water IGA between Star Valley and Payson. The Gazette is still the best source of Star Valley news. And I noticed you scooped the Roundup on the IGA story. I love it when you guys do that.
(Editor’s note: Click the STAR VALLEY tab on the right and scroll down to read both articles.)