Hi, my name is Jeffrey Aal.
I have lived in Payson since 2013. We had planned on moving here for retirement, but then decided there was no reason to wait to move from the valley. We have an independent insurance adjusting firm and are able to continue operations covering all of Arizona and other areas of the Southwest from Payson. As I am not planning on retiring any time soon; I am glad we didn’t stick to the plan and wait.
I have always made a point of being informed as to what is occurring in the community. I believe that the people’s voice matters and should be heard on all issues that affect them.
How did I get involved?
Back in September of 2017, I read an article in The Roundup. Had some questions and asked them. They did not get answered. I believe that the process is important. Sometimes I don’t like the process, oftentimes I don’t like the outcome. I know that if we respect the process, the outcome is generally good. The process is always important and is in place for a reason.
The questions did not get answered. I then put those questions out to the public. From that I started the website www.260Chat.com that has various topics and a lot of research into local issues. Come to find out, others were just as concerned. I kept asking questions. Ultimately we united a group of fellow Payson citizens that were able to make a small change. You may be aware of that group? Transparent Payson?
Transparent Payson has placed two initiatives on the upcoming ballot. During that process many people encouraged me to run for elected office. Here we are. Had you asked me back in September, the answer would have been “no.”
It would be easy to conclude that I am “anti-growth.” I am not against a “Rec Center” or “Growth.” What I am against is apparent backroom deals, use of convoluted finance schemes to circumvent government finance laws, and or use of land dedicated to “public open space” without input from all citizens. I look forward to the build-out of Payson and all it brings. But there must be consensus from all the Citizens of Payson, not just a small group. Growth, done well, can only enhance our town.
We need to understand that the Town must be able to maintain these facilities and that could be problematic. As adults, we all understand that nothing is ever free. We also understand that sometimes we need to take risks, but they should be calculated risks. I suspect had the Town proposed a straight up General Obligation bond, for the purpose of a “Rec Center” it would have been received well. Discussions with the Town reveal the town is not financially capable of maintaining a Rec Center. As a town, perhaps we should concentrate on making our ability to maintain our amenities a priority before we seek new amenities?
Fiscal responsibility is important, in your house, as a town, as a county, as a state, and as a country. I believe that when there is a large project/issue that will affect us as a community we should as a community have a say in it. In fact that may result in going forward with the project/issue, as a community.
Why am I running for Town Council?
“I firmly believe that Government should serve, not circumvent the people.”
In the coming weeks, we will update this site, and discuss various issues.
Thank you for your consideration.
Jeffrey S. Aal