Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Swimming pool letter lands mayor in hot water

Photo by Jim Keyworth
Payson Mayor Kenny Evans wrote a letter on town letterhead allowing a Chaparral Pines resident to build a swimming pool at his mansion while such pools were still banned by the town according to a press release issued by a group of town council candidates.

By Jim Keyworth

Rim Country Gazette Blog Editor

A group of candidates for the Payson Town Council issued a press release Monday accusing Mayor Kenny Evans of behavior that is either “unethical” or a “violation of law.”

Evans, according to the candidates, sent a letter Feb. 19 on town letterhead “granting permission for a friend to build a swimming pool at his multi-million dollar (Chaparral Pines) mansion a full two months before the council” voted to allow pools.  The group, which includes mayoral candidate Randy Roberson and council candidates Charlene Creach Brown, Chris Higgins and Robert Lockhart, provided the Gazette Blog and other local media outlets with a copy of the letter obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In the letter, Evans grants Fred Wagenhalls permission to build the pool to facilitate the sale of his 9-bedroom, 10-bath home at 901 Indian Paintbrush Circle for $2.7 million to Fountain Hills resident Lou Laskis, who was copied on the letter.  Until the town council voted to allow in-ground pools on April 17, such pools were banned by the town for purposes of water conservation.

“I found this information to be very disheartening as it raises the question of a violation of the open meeting law prior to Feb. 19, or Mayor Evans feels such a sense of power over the six other council members that he was confident enough to write this letter before the issue was ever brought forward in a public council meeting in April,” Creach Brown said.

Roberson questions the mayor’s intentions: “First we heard the mayor say it was OK for pools because it would generate impact fee revenues.  Then it was to attract resorts.  Now we learn it is really because of a promise made months ago to a home seller who wanted to attract a buyer with a pool.”

This is not the first time Evans has been accused of giving Chaparral Pines preferential treatment regarding water.  He was criticized last year by the Gazette Blog and others for striking a deal with the tony gated community to provide a 49-year supply of water for its private golf course.  The mayor claimed the water from the C.C. Cragin reservoir that will be supplied for the golf course will not be potable because it will bypass a treatment plant that makes the water chemically compatible with Payson groundwater sources.

The council candidates who issued the press release are known on Facebook as “The Voice of Rim Country.”


Anonymous said...

would you honestly believe anything that came out of Randy Roberson's mouth?

Anonymous said...

And what about Kenny? The waterfall on Main St. The 4-year college. Attended Rutgers. Water can be sucked up out of the Chaparral Pines Golf Course and resold. Water from Blue Ridge is not potable if it bypasses a treatment plant that doesn't make water from Blue Ridge potable. Check those whoppers out.

Roberson may not be perfect, but Good Lord, we have to get Kenny out of there. Payson employees can't wait.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Kenny must go. No politician is honest, but some are more honest than others.

Anonymous said...

I also agree that Roberson is better than Evans. We know what we're getting from Evans - empty promises and pissing away Blue Ridge to Chaparral Pines. Only thing that has always bothered me about Roberson is how he wears his Christianity on his sleeve and collects money in the name of God while his wife works a normal job. Still, when it's him or Evans, Go big Randy. Praise the Lord and pass the ballots.

Anonymous said...

Give me a Christian over a Charlatan any day.

Anonymous said...

Where's Kenny Murphy when you need him? Or Bob Edwards, for that matter. At least he was inclusive.

Anonymous said...

Probably looking over his shoulder whenever he goes for a bike ride.

Anonymous said...

But we digress. It's too bad the best people don't run for office, but at least the new guy hasn't broken any promises or given away our water yet.

Anonymous said...

Someday all that will be left of the civilization known as Payson will be that damned gated golf course. Pampered jerks!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but don't you know they worked for it, while the rest of us lazy bastards just sat around on our butts. At least that's what they'll tell you. Nine bedrooms. Ten baths. Give me a break.

I'd bet over half of them inherited their money from Daddy.