A critical component of successfully run towns is an informed public.
It takes a concerted effort on the part of the elected officials to become knowledgeable regarding the key issues and then to properly communicate salient information to the townspeople. Representative government does not mean that decisions are made by the few, in a back room and then “sold” to the public. This process is potentially fraught with problems, especially creating suspicion and a general lack of trust.
I would like to improve communications regarding the Council meetings and topics. Open meetings are published online, but we need to find other avenues to post the information and to encourage more people to attend.
I recognize that day to day operations and managing of the budget falls to the Town Manager and the Council and so citizens do not necessarily need to attend some of the meetings. However, my concern is when a large or expensive project is considered, I believe the citizens should be more directly involved in the process.
My intention would be to gather experts and information regarding the issue being addressed, starting with a statement of the potential financial impact on Payson.
Then if it looks viable, prepared detailed summaries of proposals which would be presented at town meetings for all to attend and air concerns or offer alternative solutions. What transparency means to me is that most of our townspeople would have a good working knowledge of a particular project. That we all feel like we are part of making informed decisions.
To ultimately accomplish this, we need to take certain decisions to the people in the form of ballot propositions, especially if the project has any financial impact on the citizens.