Another questions from the round up. Prop. 401 and Prop. 402. Are you for or against the propositions? For one and not the other? Why or why not? Do you think they will help or hinder town government?
Here is the answer:
As the author of the propositions, and the Chairman of the group that placed them on the ballot, Transparent Payson, I fully support the propositions. It would appear inconsistent for a candidate to ask for your vote to elect them, and then suggest that your same vote not be part of the decision-making process? Is your vote and input only required for their needs?
The propositions flow from the proposed development of Rumsey Park for private gain. The Rumsey Plan is clearly the most divisive local issue. The method of the plan is the real issue, and the genesis of Transparent Payson, it is also most symbolic of the issues facing our town.
Had the process been followed, correctly and transparently with a Request for Proposal / Request for Qualifications (RFQ/RFP) etc., Transparent Payson may well not be in existence. A RFQ/RFP was clearly in the works by the Town and abandoned. The process in our town is broken. No bid contracts, intimidation by Town Legal, grand plans while basic services fail or remain underfunded. Broken promises by elected officials, vendors “wagging the dog.” Those are real issues. The propositions will start the repair process by returning power to the people on large scale capital expenditures.
Payson’s current leadership has failed to account for the Citizen’s wishes in the proposed leasing of Town assets to private and or non-profit entities. Proposition 401 will require that prior to entering into a long term lease agreement, (with numerous exclusions for utilities, communications, airports, etc.) of three years or longer, on publicly owned Town property, a vote of the Citizens will be required.
Proposition 402 provides Citizen oversight by requiring full and complete information on source funding for Payson’s future debt obligations over $1,000,000.00. Traditionally, a ‘General Obligation’ bond would be subject to the will of the voters. Hybrid finance agreements or ‘creative debt,’ which include ‘Combination’ or ‘Double Barrel’ bonds, and long term lease agreements, are being used by governments to circumvent the input of voters as they require no direct Citizen vote.
The propositions ensure Citizen’s input on large scale projects. Why is a Citizen’s input important? Why is voting important? We can likely all answer this question similarly. It is our basic right in a Democracy to have input. We are not subjects, we are Citizens. It is so disheartening that most people do not trust government / politicians any longer. Not surprising mind you, just disheartening. Saddest of all is that could easily be changed, simply by addressing the concerns of the people and understanding that a Council Member’s authority comes from the Citizens.
“I firmly believe that government should serve, not circumvent the people.”