The Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Republican Assembly (AZRA) was formally organized on September 16 here in Payson. The organization is the local chapter of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies encompassing 32 state chapters. The Republican Assembly movement was founded in 1934 and has been the mainstream conservative strength of the Republican Party. President Ronald Reagan was so impressed with the actions and influence of the Assembly that he labeled it : “The Conscience of the Republican Party”.
The local chapter was formally organized by AZRA State President Thayer Verschoor with 23 Charter Members who enacted the By-Laws, elected their initial chapter officers and established their 2022 goals in the initial meeting. The enthusiasm and commitment to advocate America First policies, support Constitutional conservative candidates and elected officials and restore educational excellence in our schools were confirmed as the main issues by the members.
As an example of the commitment to improving local governance, the newly elected President, Phil Mason, Sr., was the main speaker at the Payson Tea Party only five days later with a riveting presentation on the Payson Unified School District burdensome tax excesses and student achievement failures. PUSD Superintendent Gibson and Director of Business Services Manning were in attendance and committed to meeting with Mr. Mason to address the concerns and implement corrective solutions.
The other elected officers: Socrates Anastasiadis as1st Vice President, Karla Townsend as 2nd Vice President; Mike Heather as Secretary and Rose Ann Watts as Treasurer. Additionally, Deborah Rose and Dave Golembewski were elected as State Executive Board Directors.
The Rim Country Chapter will initially focus on three major areas: 1. the excessive school property tax rates, 2. the embarrassing Payson Unified School District student graduation rate of only 62% compounded by the district’s AZMerit test record of failure, and 3. the bloated bureaucracy of Payson Town Government, with 50% more employees per thousand of residents than other similar size towns in Arizona.
President Mason stated: “The Rim Country AZRA Chapter will be leading the effort to reduce excessive tax collections and institute America First policies in all layers of our government. We ARE NOT and WILL NOT be a meet – greet – eat – and retreat organization. We will present a coordinated, united presence to restore the promised vision of Payson as the ideal permanent home in Arizona for families and seniors alike. Anyone who shares that vision is heartily invited to apply for membership and contribute to the fulfillment of that vision.”
If you would like to unite with the Rim Country AZRA, send an e-mail to Gopphil@aol.com or call 928-478-6311.