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Payson Home Rule Question (March 2010)

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There was a Payson Home Rule Question on the March 9 ballot in Gila County for voters in the town of Payson.

This measure was approved

  • YES 3,664 (82.78%)Approveda
  • NO 762 (17.22%)[1]

This measure asked the town voters if they wanted Home Rule for the town to continue. The question appears every four years on the ballot due to state laws that allow the towns to have separation from the state in regards to controlling their funds. If the measure was not passed, the state would have taken extra revenues from the town to be used for its own purposes. Home Rule ensures that the extra funds generated by the town stay within the community.[2]

The Mayor of the town was unsure which way this vote would go, historically the town has passed this measure without much noise, but this time around issues about bad spending are coming up and questions of if the town can survive on its own. Without the passing of this measure, the Mayor did not feel that the town would survive with so much money going to the state rather than to the town needs.[3] If the measure had not been approved, Payson would have been limited to a $19 million and will forfeit around $15 million worth of state and federal grants. Major cuts to the town would have ensued and officials did not want to see that happen.[4]

New issues had arisen with this measure, when the mail ballots went out, city election officials received many calls stating that the ballot was confusing and people were unsure which way to vote. Officials were worried that voters will either not return their ballots in the right envelope or miss to even cast a vote for Home Rule. Town officials were trying to ease confusion as much as possible.[5]