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7/19/2013 6:00:00 AM
New members join commissions for zoning, economic development
Michael Carter
Michael Carter
Eugene Kirkham
Eugene Kirkham

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The newest member of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission doesn't live in Kingman.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 6-0 to appoint Eugene Kirkham due to his experience with planning and zoning in another community, despite the fact he resides outside the city limits - but close enough to be a water and sewer customer.

According to City Attorney Carl Cooper, the code allows for such appointments in the event an applicant lives in the "greater Kingman area" and has "exceptional expertise," or if an insufficient number of qualified candidates apply.

In Kirkham's case, the City Council found him to be well qualified. Two other candidates who reside within Kingman's boundaries applied.

Kirkham told council members he worked as a planning and zoning commissioner in Garden Grove, Calif.

"I have plenty of experience and will go right to work," he said. "I have quite a bit to offer."

Cooper said Kirkham was additionally qualified since he lives in the greater Kingman area.

Councilwoman Carole Young noted Kirkham has done an excellent job serving on the city's Transit Commission and she recommended Kirkham get the nod.

Kirkham will complete the unexpired term of former Commissioner Shawn Walsh, who has moved out of the area. His term expires Dec. 31, 2015.

In other appointments made at Tuesday's meeting, the City Council named three men to fill vacancies on the Economic Development Marketing Commission, which provides seats for both city and county residents.

In a unanimous 6-0 vote - Councilman Larry Carver was absent - the City Council named Kingman residents William Wales and Michael Carter, whose terms expire Dec. 31, 2015 and Mohave County resident Tim Woods, whose term ends one year later.

Vice Mayor Janet Watson noted all nine of the applicants for the four available seats have "outstanding" resumes. She encouraged them to keep their names in the applicant pool for future consideration.

Councilwoman Erin Cochran, seeking clarification on the city's code regarding appointments, suggested the wording was confusing.

Cooper agreed, saying he intends to "clean up the language" in an effort to make it easier to understand.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: GARDEN GROVE??

Has any one else been to garden grove?? As a fomer southern californian I know that city has had a bad reputation for many years as it is filled with sex shops, strip clubs and many business being used as a front for prostitution. Maybe kingman needs this...hope not.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Rather Not Say

Erin, the problem of making board appointments fairer with an eye on the selection of the best person has been addressed by various members of various boards. We have been told "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." and "Well, write something up." Perhaps this time with your prodding Carl Cooper will finally do his job.

There are no guidelines as to what skills and experience is "desired" by each commission. There is no "interview" or review process. City staff does not verify any of these board applications. And since many of these commission members are busy with other things they also do not check applications. Many of these commissioners don't even review them ahead of the meeting. You know it and I know it. And in the vast number of appointments the only time an applicant is spoken to is at either the commission meeting or council meeting when the chair asks, "If any of the applicants are present and would like to speak, please come forward."

From my experience anytime a commissioner or (possibly a council member) takes an applicants' application seriously and asks sensitive questions or voices objections to an applicant their motive is suspect. These appointments have been largely "oh, I know him from church" or "he's in the audience of many meetings" or "he's active in _____". Erin, thank you for finally asking for some specific guidelines. Kingman deserves the best people possible to serve and under the present system that is seldom guaranteed.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: No Longer Take Applicants' Words at Face Value

I'm curious if anyone check his qualification with Garden Grove officials? From my experience on these commissions the qualifications and experience is seldom verified. Our area seems to attract folks with "unclear" pasts (see Doug McMurdo's article).

"Cooper said Kirkham was additionally qualified since he lives in the greater Kingman area." It sounds like Cooper is saying one living outside of the city limits is more ("additionally") qualified. I doubt if that was what he meant yet it makes one wonder when an attorney can not convey his ideas clearly.

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