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4/2/2014 6:02:00 AM
Cochran's mayoral bid a return to Kingman politics
Erin Cochran
Erin Cochran
Janet Watson
Janet Watson
Watson not seeking re-election
Mayor Janet Watson will step down at the end of the year.

Watson, first elected to the City Council in 2006 after serving on a number of its boards and commissions - and after a career serving on local, state and national school boards - took over for former Mayor John Salem last summer when he resigned mid-term to care for an ailing parent in the Phoenix area.

Look in Thursday's Kingman Daily Miner for more on Watson's decision to not seek a full term.

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Erin Cochran admits her frustration over an ongoing budget crisis boiled over last November when she announced she would not seek a second term on the City Council.

Six months later, Cochran hopes to win voters' support of her quest for the mayor's office.

"After November, when I made that statement, I received hundreds of emails and letters in the mail that showed overwhelming support from people asking me to reconsider," said Cochran. "I felt I was their voice and that was very humbling, so I decided not to shut up because I wasn't being heard, but to speak louder."

Cochran said her desire to serve stems from her love of Kingman.

"I'm not here to retire," she said, "and I mean no disrespect to people who are here to retire, but I'm here to live my life and raise my children and make Kingman a great place to live. I'm here for the future."

Councilman Richard Anderson also wants to become Kingman's next mayor. Anderson, like Cochran, is in his first term on the Council.

The retired Department of the Army analyst will explain his plans in Thursday's Kingman Daily Miner.

Cochran said she has proven herself willing to "do the hard work and get my hands dirty" and that she has spent a copious amount of time with department heads and other city employees in an effort to gain an insider's view of how the city operates.

All of this leads to the obvious question, one that goes back to last November's frustration, and that is whether or not Cochran would support an effort to bring back property taxes in Kingman.

The Council held a non-action workshop that month to discuss potential new revenue streams to prop up a recession-ravaged budget. One possibility was implementing a voter-approved primary property tax, something Kingman property owners have not had to worry about in more than three decades.

The City Council as a whole took heat from the public for even discussing the issue.

Cochran still believes a property tax is one way to raise revenues for public safety.

"Kingman is in survivor mode right now," she said. "We're trying to balance what little revenue we're getting," she said.

"I absolutely support a public safety property tax that would be dedicated exclusively to police and fire."

With no property taxes collected by the city since the early 1980s, the Council must rely solely on sales tax revenue to fund all services, from police and fire to roads and parks.

She said the city has collected a little more than $10 million per year in sales tax revenue in recent years, but the Kingman Police and Fire departments require about $12 million each year.

She believes a 3 percent property tax - the owner of a $100,000 property would pay $300 a year - would earn the city about $6 million a year.

"Roads are bad, infrastructure is crumbling and Kingman needs help. None of these things will ever get better if we don't have the money to pay for them," she said.

Improving educational opportunities in Kingman, and doing a better job advertising what's already here, would be another of Cochran's goals should she be elected mayor.

She noted Northern Arizona University has a satellite campus in Kingman she would like to see expand, and she would also contact Arizona State University in Tempe regarding opening a satellite campus here like it did in Lake Havasu City.

She said she got her associate's degree from Mohave Community College and her bachelor's degree from NAU and is halfway to earning her master's in public administration from NAU.

"I never had to leave Kingman to get my education," she said. "I don't know how many people even know you can do that, but I do know if we want to grow we need to expand educational opportunities."

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Related Stories:
• Mayoral candidate Anderson says Kingman needs to grow again
• Mayor Watson: 'All things come to an end'
• Cochran: 'We need a property tax'

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Article comment by: DENISE BENSUSAN


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Bringing in Industry Must Be the Push

One comment said we're putting the horse before the cart when advocating for bringing in new businesses. We're told we need to improve the schools, the roads, the infrastructure. Throughout the U.S. money needs to go into infrastructure. However there are sufficient roads (divided highway from the airport industry park to I-40), new bridge over the dam to Vegas on a double highway, an adequate road to Phoenix. airport able to accommodate major jet traffic, rail links leading across the county - these are very attractive to companies. Yes, since charter schools like KAOL has stolen public school funding, our schools do need attention. But to imply there's no infrastructure isn't realistic.

One problem we continually face in this town is allowing our meager funds to be used for tourism instead of using them to attract manufacturers, transportation companies, warehousers - companies paying a decent salary yet not demanding a PHD.

The argument our workforce is weak is true. However, any medium company should have very little problem filling their jobs & any large company would be able to attract workers from around the U.S.

The area needing improvement is the overall appearance of our town - hopefully we're on the right road with the push to tidy up for Rte 66 Festival.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: obligations mean something

Erin does not seem to care about the poor in this city. when raising food tax she made comments that were cruel. she has not idea what a property tax would do to those who are barely making it. she is wrapped up in the young middle class and could care less about the poor and retirees. it is good to want to do what is best for kingman but to actually be able to do it is two different things. she has so many obligations that something will continually fall throught the cracks and the community should not take that risk.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: She is TOO YOUNG and Her Idea is FOOLISH

The proposed property tax rate is THREE times higher than Lake Havasu City's property tax rate.


If the City of Kingman is able to start collecting property taxes, they will go higher and higher each year as they will be allowed to increase their budget 2% each year.

Once it starts, it will never stop.

Make your voice heard. Vote for the right candidate, which is NOT ERIN COCHRAN.

Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014
Article comment by: Richard supports job related projects

Ms cochran seems you have no respect for the retirement community. One question, when you retire will it be in Kingman? Kingman needs a full time Mayor to promote our city to bring in jobs. Jobs for the youth who leave the area because they can't find anything after they graduate from college in Kingman. Most of them leave because of the job situation, not because there isn't anything to do. I commend you for all you do as an organizer, but that does not qualify to lead the city out of our economic drain.

Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

We'll looks to me that we all know how she feels about retired people. Mean it or not Ms Cochran, you said it. Do you have the vaguest idea of what retired people bring to this community. Little remarks like that say a lot about a person. Never doubt that.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: R H

NO, Erin. The city , like every household within and outside of city limits , has to learn to live within it's means . The citizens have repeatedly said NO and you need to respect that.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: Richard best choice

@city worker
you are not supposed to endorse a candidate or influence an election. Sounds like you are just a really close friend to erin. We don't need a mayor that is chummy with the employees or department heads. Erin has become too chummy and can not be objective when it comes time for raises or making drastic cuts.

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Article comment by: So True

George Said it all on Richard's article
"Article comment by: George Francuski

this election needs to be about growing our economy.

Richard has worked to bring companies to town. He recognizes in order to attract manufacturers & retailers the demographic information CEOs receive must put us on equal footing with LHC, BHC with populations over 50k. Annexation must be looked at seriously. Kingman's official population is 28k unofficial 60k.

Richard quickly volunteered to represent us at the first ICSC convention which brought in Chipolte. Transition of the dilapidated Frontier office building into the revenue generator 99 Cent Only center started at that convention. As chairman of our ICSC booth I can tell you Richard worked as hard as any to promote Kingman. In talks with company heads he listened to them, answered questions, and invited each to consider Kingman. He also expressed concern about existing businesses & wanted to find ways for them to succeed. He recognizes, as Erin no doubt does, quality of life in our town is dependent on a strong job market. He has an excellent calm professional manner, works to understand the issues & seeks solutions. He'll serve our city well as mayor."

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: City Worker

I have been at the city for many years. Councilwoman Cochran has taken the time to speak with me and many of the people in my department. I have seen her volunteer her time at many city functions, help with planning city events and just sit down to talk with any employee. There is a rule that we are not supposed to discuss issues with the council, that is what our department heads are for (chain of command). She is always open to speaking to anyone and has helped to raise the spirits of those of us who had given up on the council. She has supported us and I, for one, support her.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: Think logical

caring and passion does not automatically make a good mayor. Experience and a level head does. Erin goes into defense mode too quickly to be ready to be mayor. A few more years of being mentored by Janet and she will be there.

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014
Article comment by: She'll Get My Vote

I think this town needs some young blood and Erin is just the gal for the job. She really cares and is so passionate. She puts her money where her mouth is. GO ERIN FOR MAYOR!!!

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Maxwell Gibbons

Taxes are great considering what they help with keeping up with the city and state. The city gets only like 1-3% of the tax on every transaction. You got federal and state you have to consider also. Were else do you think the funding comes from to keep our infrastructure from collapsing. Business pay there employees based on profit. The more profit the more the employees they can hire and the bills are being paid. Well the taxes are the governments paychecks. A few years ago we all voted to raise the tax 1% to go to education and that what it did. Saved the school for going under even more than they had been. We live in life full of taxes and its our civil duty to pay them for what we get in return. What happens if the police and fire just shut down because of inefficient funding. They don't work for free because they have family that they have to provide for. Don't be afraid of taxes because they are actually here to help us in the long run. It eventually comes back to us when we have to call 911 or when you send your children to school to wear they graduate. It all come from taxes so think about it in a positive way and stop being negative.

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Bear, are you in the city limits? If not, Erin won't get your vote either.

Nathan, as far as Erin meeting with department heads on a regular basis being a plus. Think about it. What is the main source of her information about a department? Will the department head ever tell her of problems that might reflect badly on him/her? It is much more useful for a mayor to be at arm's length with those running any department. She could balance these "regular meetings" with dept heads by meeting regularly with the city workers. These meetings could be private lunches, or coffees off site. This would give her a well rounded insight in how the city is truly run.

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Another Thought

"She can't magically make a property tax because she is the Mayor."

Very true, but since it has been on her mind for the last three years I won't take that chance. We need fresh "mature" young minds.

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: go, Janice .....

That's a double entendre, Ms. Palmer. But there's no doublespeak about needing to keep property taxes down. Another $300 per year??? Like that's nothing on top of the 15 tax levies attached to properties here in BHC (not sure how many in Kingman). Geeeezzz, when will government finally encounter a tax they don't like?

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"I have been considering the mayor's race....."

Consider it all you like. But no more than a handful of people will consider voting for. Especially if you once again consider any questioning of your qualifications and resume to be out of bounds.

It will be fun to see the final vote count

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Lifer

We need a mayor that works as hard as a mayor, as they did to get elected. If you want a better Kingman, vote for a better person. Stop voting for an old school classmate or your family friend. What has that done for you so far?
Vote with your empty pockets because there are no jobs because we have no leader to bring jobs to our town. Think for yourself and vote for yourself! You have that right, do not vote because of who your friends are voting for, and then you’re giving your rights away to them. Vote for the person who will work for you and not be a superficial friend just to get your vote, then after the election forget your name. Vote for the person that will help keep our children here in our community not have them move away for jobs and raise a family.

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Resident Joe

Vice Mayor does nothing more than the rest of the council. I don't understand the people who think she should serve there first. I see the current Vice Mayor out and interacting with the public much less than I see Cochran. I would vote her Mayor before I voted Young and she is the sitting Vice Mayor. Even though I am not for the Property Tax, I know that Cochran is only one opinion and the vote will have to come from us, the voters. She can't magically make a property tax because she is the Mayor. I do however commend her for her willingness to stand up for what she thinks is right, knowing it is NOT the popular thing to support. You have my vote!

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Cochran for Supervisor

Erin I think you would do more for the City if you ran for the County Supervisors job. The City seems to have a good handle on Economic Development and that is partly credited to Carol Young and Dick Anderson. Kingman is not represented at the County in a strong way. I think with your energy and willingness to improve Kingman and Golden Valley area, that would be the place to do the best job. PLEASE think about it before you start collecting signatures for the City. You would better serve our community in that Capacity.

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: john g

girl pls just stay away ! sell g.s. cookies

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Nathan N

I have read this article and the comments that have followed. I must say that I agree with one of the comments that was made about how Erin is involved in more than you know. What other city council member has gone out to do ride-alongs with the Police and Fire Departments to see what is truly going on with them and to try to help these two vital public services keep going in Kingman. Erin meets with department heads on a regular basis to see what is going on.

What other council members do this. Erin is involved in many groups and programs that no one ever hears about. As with any one running for political office, people only like to focus on the negative of a candidate instead of the positive. Erin is highly educated and motivated to make Kingman something better than just a stop on the way to Las Vegas.

I cant recall seeing any other council members names in the paper for the work they do with the community. Erin is the first council member I have ever seen actually go out into the field with Law Enforcement and Fire Departments to see what exactly they do and experience that first hand, how come no one else does this?

I say Erin for Mayor, she is the change this city needs, she may be young, but she is wise beyond her years.

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Palmer go for it

Palmer you should run because so far there are no republicans running and you may have a chance. Erin follows in Janets footsteps and even though she has good intentions, they may not be successful. She will follow the advise of the Elks and old Kingman policies. I am afraid we will see higher sales taxes and less businesses moving in. More families moving out and more retirees moving in. We need jobs to keep families here and bring in new families. Erin has not contributed to this aspect while on council. She is a great councilperson.

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: BEAR ON THE MOUNTAIN

First I just want to say one thing. To the people of kingman and the fine readers on kdm. You need to get with the program here we don't live in the "good old days" . Second you can bash on Cochran for wanting taxes but you cry baby's better understand there is no property taxes. Raising a property tax is the best thing for this town. every city, town you go to in az has a property tax don't believe me LOOK IT UP . As far a Cochran running for mayor I think she will have enough people that it doesn't matter who runs against her she WILL win and she will do great job. She has done more for this city then most of the council put together on a daily basis. I'm sorry Mr. Anderson but no buddy wants to fell asleep during a council meeting cause you would have everyone sleeping by the end. Third you can't bring business in if you don't have a place for the families to live. Let's see the work force age 25-43 in kingman as of todays (minority) so here's my question do you think these people want to move here if our city is a retirement place I should would bring my business here if i cared about my employees like most big business do. Erin your a great person for mayor we need you our city needs you. You have my 100% vote.

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya


Somebody just had to wake "it" up again. I think not in my lifetime.

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