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 Can it be repealed by Town Council or any legislative group?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 12, 2023
Like democracy, some of the more important life lessons were first taught in Greece. Most children learned of a shepherd boy who tells the tale of an attacking wolf after the flock. After enough false alarms, the villagers did not believe the story. When it was finally real, nobody responded. Some versions of the story have the wolf eating the boy. We like the poetic justice of that version. COVID-19 and the mandates conditioned us to accept government overreach. There is some pushback on potential future overreach now. Six Town Councilers jumped on an overreach bandwagon and never looked back.
Did you ever wonder why an Emergency Ordinance was used?
When Ordinance 953 and 954 were approved, they were done so using an "emergency declaration." What was the emergency? The memo to the Town Council stated, "(P)rojects are necessary for the immediate preservation of the peace, health or safety of the Town." That sounds very dire! The emergency projects required financing to complete. So, the "emergency?" “(T)o put the Town in a position to obtain the best financing terms….”
Yes, that is correct. The emergency was rising interest rates.
To our knowledge, there has been no funding secured. There have been no large project(s) preserving health or safety. Six of Seven Council Members bought into using an "emergency ordinance." They purportedly repealed the voters' will due to a non-existent emergency. The ordinances went into effect immediately and are not subject to a referendum.
Would Council members be as willing to throw away the votes that elected them to office? How often can Town Legal and Town Council cry "WOLF!" before they are ignored?