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 Can it be repealed by Town Council or any legislative group?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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September 9, 2023
“Votes Can’t Just be Thrown Away.” That is a good quote. Let us place the quote in its proper context. When Arizona’s Voter Protection Act/Proposition 105 was advocated in 1998, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a voice in favor of the VPA. The full quote is as follows:
"The will of the people is the most important element of our government. Once an election takes place, votes can’t be thrown away just because a few politicians don’t like the results of an election. I believe Arizona voters are smart enough to know what they are voting for. I don’t think the Legislature or the Governor should have the right to thwart or veto the will of the people. I urge you to vote Yes on the Voter Protection Act. It will preserve the will of the people in Arizona once and for all.
Joe Arpaio, Sherif"
Sheriff Joe is not known to be left-leaning. After passage, there have been multiple attempts to weaken Arizona’s Voter Protection Act/Proposition 105, generally by the right side of the aisle. Most recently in 2022 via Proposition 128. That proposition failed. The proposition was referred to the ballot by Republican state lawmakers. Had it passed it would have allowed lawmakers to alter ballot measures if any language is illegal or unconstitutional. We are not picking on left or right, we are recognizing that politicians like power. The more power they remove from voters, the more they have for themselves. Not a left or right phenomenon. Citizens know “lawmakers” are not judges. Citizens know they hold the power. Someday Payson Town Council may realize the same.
We will cover various topics in the next few days:
- The justification presented to the Town in support of repeal.
- Why an Emergency Ordinance was used.
- An update on the matter of Varxity vs. Town of Payson.
Thank you again for all the support. Each of you is vital to our continued success.
Today we discuss Payson’s position to support the repeal and a discussion on the VPA/Proposition 105
We noted that we had not provided information regarding the Town Ordinances and the presentation via Mr. Paladini, Town legal, for the purported repeal of the Ordinances.
The information is a lengthy read. Complex matters do not lend themselves to snippets, sound bites, and PowerPoint presentations. Please see the complete discussion via our website at this link.
We can wrap up with a few more quotes on the issue of Voters’ rights and the Voter Protection Act of 1998.
"The message is clear from the politicians: “we know better than you.”. . . We have seen a lot of scandals in Arizona politics over the last few years, but the legislature thwarting the will of the people seems to me the ultimate act of arrogance. Let put an end to this by voting Yes on Proposition 105.
Richard Mahoney, Former Secretary of State"
“(T)he ultimate act of arrogance. That too is a good quote. Need another? We can do that.
"The ultimate test of a democracy is whether a citizen’s vote actually counts. There is a disturbing trend in Arizona in which citizens pass initiatives by overwhelming margins, only to watch the legislature turn around within months and gut what the voters passed. This has occurred on numerous issues, including drug policy reform, health care, and the environment. . . . Let the will of the people stand.
Grant Woods, Arizona Attorney General"
Politicians do NOT know better than you. Do not let them throw away your vote and gut what voters passed. It is an act of arrogance.
Please see the complete discussion via our website at this link.