Proven & Committed Leadership as Mayor
Worked with U.S. Senator Sinema to obtain funds for catastrophic fire prevention at CC Cragin reservoir. The first trees have been cut! This is the first step of firewising against potential wildfires around our town's critical water source.
Tom's focus is to work for the benefit of the Town of Payson, even as the former Chairman of the Republican Party, he is working successfully with U.S. Senator Sinema.
The news article "How thinning dense Arizona forests could prevent another megafire and protect water sources" details what Senator Sinema, Joe Miller, and Mayor Tom Morrissey have been working on for the past two years and got it done.
For Payson, population 17,000, protecting Cragin is about securing the future
Established a model for addressing rural homelessness effectively at no cost to the Town of Payson while providing compassion and care to those in need.
- Meals are provided every night of the year
- Database established for the first time ever, that is bringing resources based on hard numbers
- People have come through the Warming Center who are now self-reliant with jobs
- The Safe Landing program has enabled some to return home and to family
- Job Counseling offered
- Award Winning - all with only 3 years in existence!!
Payson Warming Center has been selected to receive the (2022) Inspiring Rural Health Program Award from the Arizona Rural Health Association (AzRHA) Awards Committee this June.
Back row, from left, Christina Furlong, treasurer; Will Parz, legal advocate; Skyler Brice, operations director; Dorine Prine, secretary; front row, Emily Brice, president; Tom Morrissey, board member. Bryce and the Warming Center offer a safe place for those in trouble to find a tour guide to navigate the complex and fragmented health care system.
Message from Mayor Tom: As a stop-gap towards a more secure security system at our schools, I have been speaking with and recruiting veterans and retired law enforcement individuals for a cadre of protection for our schools and the after-school program at Payson Community Kids. I have also begun putting together a stakeholders group (those with skin in the game) who can bring about a greater safety protocol system throughout our schools. Although I as mayor have no authority over the Payson Unified School District, I do have the responsibility to protect the lives of our children and their teachers. I fully intend to do everything within my power, control, and contacts to ensure that our kids and their teachers are fully protected in our schools as this next school year begins. This is a top priority for me!
Kept "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo" open during Covid and wildfires! This is an essential event for the Town of Payson!
Kept businesses open during Covid. The concern was if the businesses shut down during covid, they might not make it back. This was left as a personal decision for each business owner. We need our small businesses!
Reversed a town culture of "No" to a culture of "Let's find a way to do it!"
As a former law enforcement officer, Tom recognized illegal drug problems here in Payson and began working on the issue. We now have an additional police position on mitigating the illegal drug problems in town.
The Green Valley Parkway evacuation route for SW Payson residents is moving forward, after being stalled for over a decade or more. Just this spring, the project has completed the Notice of Initiation milestone and is currently in the analysis phase with a NEPA* study. This has been a long-stalled project, which is now moving forward in progress. (*National Environment Policy Act).
Obtained additional revenue to replace a significant loss for Payson by successfully lobbying to increase Arizona rural towns' share of state tax money to replace the shortfall. This solution impacted other rural towns across Arizona as well, not just Payson!
Resolved a long-standing water issue with the Tonto Apache tribe again at no cost to Payson. Tom met with the concerned parties and asked them to evaluate options based on current technology and capabilities. After this was done, a new solution acceptable to both sides was agreed upon.
As Your Mayor
Tom will continue to use his extensive network of resources and longtime executive experience to:
- Develop and implement the current joint effort with the Arizona Department of Housing for assistance with workforce housing and first-time buyers.
- Create a business-friendly environment to attract high-paying jobs to keep our children in Payson.
- Our "Wish List" has already been submitted to U.S. Senator Sinema for additional infrastructure funds.
- Explore trade school and career education opportunities.
Tom is committed to being an open and accessible Mayor. Please attend one of the "Chat with the Mayor" sessions he holds monthly. You can see the next one on the event page.
You can help Tom: Put a sign in your yard, pass palm cards to your friends, or host a meet and greet with your friends and neighbors. Please contact us to learn how you can help.
That government is best which governs least
Got A Lot Done but there is still A Lot More To Do! Let's Do It Together
What transparency means to me is that most of our townspeople would have a good working knowledge of a particular project.