Now is the time to take a stand with Transparent Payson.Who we are:
We are citizens of Payson, Arizona, striving to make our local government more transparent. We believe in the people voting on what happens with their money, their land, and their town. We believe that elected officials are there to serve the public; as such, we should have a voice in making decisions that affect us all. We are nonpartisan/bipartisan with no party affiliation, no hidden agenda. We believe in Payson, Arizona, and its future. We support growth that will better serve all its citizens while remaining financially sound. As a 527 nonprofit PAC, we were responsible for successfully enacting Propositions 401 and 402 in 2018. A short history of our group can be found here.
Fundamentally, we are responsible for Propositions 401 and 402 and their defense. We have been compelled to become a voters' rights group in that defense. The implications for Payson appear limited to the validity of Propositions 401 and 402 and their enactment. At the state level, we suspect the implications of our effort have a much more significant impact. That is, do citizens, as allowed by law, have the ability to initiate law? Is that law then valid? Can it be repealed by Town Council or any legislative group?
There was recently an attempt by the Town of Payson to repeal these ballot initiatives. With the help of an attorney, we are fighting that effort in Superior Court; we still have much work to do to defend your voting rights.
We are defending the rights of Payson citizens on large-scale, publicly funded projects that may be placed on public lands via long-term leases to third parties. Our goal is NOT to prevent such projects but to ensure transparency in all negotiations, discussions, and contracts that affect your town. If the citizens approve the funding through an election, or if the citizens approve the lease of public land to complete the project, we would support that effort. We are protecting YOU – the voter.
Our vision is that our leaders provide all the information as to the proposed spending of Town money as well as the utilization of Town property so that we, the citizens, can choose how and where our money and our land are utilized.
We welcome YOUR involvement in this process. Dare we say, support the cause.
I appreciate your consideration.
Jeffrey S. Aal
Chairperson, Transparent Payson
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August 6, 2023
One of the issues discussed was that of a fundamental question. Is government the authority in and of itself, or are the citizens? Placing the needs of the government before the needs of the people undermines democracy. We discussed that concept in this post.
While this question appears simple at first blush, the implications
are far-reaching. Specific to the Propositions, we have an email
exchange between a Town Councilor and a Constituent regarding leasing
town property. That email is in response to Varxity vs. Town of Payson discussed here. It appears that the Council Member maintains, as does the Statement of Facts, that the Propositions “restricted, or PURPORTEDLY restricted the Town’s ability to lease it’s property.” The Constituent replied: “You believe that the town owns the property, and I feel the residents of Payson own all of Town property.” Again, a very fundamental question.
On the more significant issue of the validity of the Propositions, as we understand, the Town states that there is no authority under the law to enact them. We maintain it is not precluded, and the citizens granted the authority to the Town. The thought that government is the authority appears to be a classic example of the tail wagging the dog. Government is not the authority: Citizens are the authority.
One of the topics was the initial drafting of the Propositions. It appears that is an area of concern raised by several. As with any project or undertaking, there is always the tendency to think; we could have done that differently. The attempt to Monday morning quarterback the Propostions does not invalidate them. They were passed, and they were adopted. They are protected under the Arizona Constitution. That protection was further validated by Arizona Proposition 105 in 1998. That information can be found here. Proposition 105 states:
“Proposition 105 prohibited the Legislature from repealing citizen measures approved by voters and prohibited the governor from vetoing ballot measures. Technical amendments would be allowed if they further the initiative’s purpose and could be adopted only with a ¾ vote of the entire Legislature.
Please listen to the broadcast. We are hopeful it will answer questions. Again, thank you to KMOG and Mr. Engler, who candidly admitted he learned a lot from our conversation.
If the media player does not embed properly on your browser, the direct link is here.Please support voters’ rights. Donate.
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