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home : opinion : columns July 27, 2016

3/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: Can golf course stand on its own?

Rich Thurlow

Bob Wyman didn't come close to telling all the good stuff about our town in his March 12 letter, "I like living in Kingman." In his defense, we do have a word limit.

From his letter we know Bob is a golfer and a doer, a volunteer and a thinker. A lot of the things that he likes about Kingman don't make money, including the junior golf program and other recreational opportunities for kids and adults. But those things, as well and having a police force and a fire department, are part of what make a town.

More importantly, Bob notes, those things are what help assure the future. We can always argue that there are too many firemen or not enough, or that the police are overpaid or not fairly compensated. Is 300-plus city employees too many for a city of 28,000? I think so, but that would make my voice a lonely one if I were on the City Council.

My own take on the golf course is that it is an asset for Kingman, a selling point. It is not a rich man's game, but a lot of well-to-do people play golf when they aren't running successful businesses, or relocating them to business-friendly places before they are being run out of business by excessive taxes and regulations.

Full disclosure: I played a lot of golf at Cerbat Cliffs and Valle Vista before my legs decided to retire from anything that resembles exercise under penalty of severe pain. I plan to return to Cerbat Cliffs and Valle Vista as soon as I can get the replacement parts installed.

Seeing a need for a golf course as well as being a golfer doesn't signal support for the status quo, though. The setup in Kingman is confusing enough, with what happens at one end (the pro shop) completely divorced from the other (maintenance and upkeep). And maybe things have changed since I last limped away.

But if cost and taxpayer burdens are a concern, it seems to me the city would put the whole shooting match out for bid just to test the waters. Rather than lose thousands a year, why not give someone with a clue the opportunity to run everything and possibly make a buck?

If there is a management group out there that thinks it can run Cerbat Cliffs at a profit - and at no cost to taxpayers, unlike the current arrangement - why not give them a chance?


These are heady days for Gregg Arnold, or is it Arnold Gregg?

First, a mention of his creation, the almost-world famous Giganticus Headicus, can be found at http://1dustytrack.com/archives/2783. And then we have this curious sign, again with a mention of Giganticus Headicus but with the question mark rather than an arrow directing pagan worshippers to the location beyond the ends of the Earth, or at least a bit past Valle Vista.

Mohave County's own miniature version of Easter Island is finally getting the attention it deserves, and without the discomfort of ocean travel and spending a week on some broken down cruise ship with overflowing toilets. Perhaps next week, in conjunction with the question mark on the sign, the Chamber of Commerce will start handing out T-shirts with "Ask Me About Giganticus Headicus" on the front and an image of the ancient (carbon dating points to the turn of the century) statue on the back.

Folks, we haven't seen this kind of excitement since that live T-Rex was discovered off Hualapai Mountain Road at a new home site, back when there was still a construction industry in Kingman.

Gregg Arnold (or is it Arnold Gregg?) is no stranger to fame, having had several of his political cartoons published in the Miner. Still, this is a bold step up the ladder of celebrity.

Can an album deal be far behind?

Stay tuned.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Sell The Golf Course

Whoa, Mr Mayor, your our representative and there is and has been for some time calls in this community to sell the course. It is your responsibility to do what is necessary to see it is placed on the ballot.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Mr Mayor Know Your Job

No Mr. Mayor, you really don't understand your position, your responsibility and your authority. You, our representative, has every right to REQUEST the staff to draw up a report that details the items of importance regarding the value of the golf course and options. The council then can discuss the report and elect to place it on the ballot for all us to decide.

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@ A Serious Thought
"An asset is something that is self-sustaining and/or a revenue generator." Well...not really...this from a general online dictionary...
1. A useful or valuable thing, person, or quality: "quick reflexes were his chief asset".
2. Property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.

This from Investopedia...
1. A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.

Hmmm seems like the course is indeed an asset.

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: A Serious Thought

@ John Salem

" If you would like that item placed on the agenda for a future Council meeting we would be glad to do that."

I think the people's wish may come true. I just don't see how you can continue to call it an asset when your robbing the people of Kingman to keep it running! An asset is something that is self-sustaining and/or a revenue generator. You want to keep raising taxes to offset shortfalls created by the lack of revenue generators. If you don't start listening to the majority of the citizens of Kingman, then we are doomed to become a ghost town. I am just waiting for that to happen and I am also curious to see how many businesses go under this year.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

Sell it so you don't have to raise taxes, or increase the fees so those who use it pay for it and the rest of the people don't!

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: John Salem

@ mayor do your job --- I don't have the authority to order staff to do what you ask. It takes a majority vote of council to do that. If you would like that item placed on the agenda for a future Council meeting we would be glad to do that. Please come forward with your identity and contact information. Thenk you. John Salem doing his job.

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Article comment by: Mayor, Do Your Job

I take great offense to Mayor Salem's suggestion. Why don't you do your job and instruct the staff to put together a cost analysis on the course, a projection of what the land would bring in if sold, and since you're such a supporter, thorough figures of the benefits your side always talks about yet never has specifics about. Then with all this complete information place the item on the ballot. It is your job to represent all Kingmanites, not just tire stores.

Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

I'll be waiting for that "Windfall"! Life in Kingman will then be glorious and like living in Paradise!

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: Jamie Pedulla

I DO think a record deal is in order :)

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: Getting my kicks on Route 66!

We just HAD to go see GIGANTIUCUS HEADICUS after reading this, that thing is CRAAAAZY! The a-frame building it's next to is turquoise and orange, what is that place?

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Taxpayer Money to Burn

I'm not a golfer myself, but I appreciate having a public golf course in Kingman. Amenities like parks and golf courses not only make a city more pleasant to live in, but they can often make the difference in a company choosing to locate to one location instead of another. Someday the golf course will be fully paid off and profitable for the city, but in the meantime not all benefits can be measured in terms of direct and immediate profit and expenditures.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: John Salem

If you want to sell the golf course you may start an initiative and a petition drive to sell it. It is an asset worth more than a $500,000 so it must go to the voters for sale approval. Yes the same voters who approved the bond to build it and the bond to expand it to 18 holes. The third party contractor was one of four bidders with bid proposals. The best contractor with the lowest bid/cost to taxpayers won the bid.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Sell It!!!

I agree! The money could be used else where.
Why doesn't the city have a co-mingle curbside recycling program ? This could save the city $50,000 a month?... I'll tell you why, the city sanitation dept would lose jobs if it's done right! The city would save the money by reducing man power and trips to the dump.(labor,dump fees,maintenance fees on the fleet) there are private company's wanting to help the city with this but the city keeps making excuses.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: The Real Reason Don't Want to Sell It

The course costs us hundreds of thousands yearly. It was built to sell expensive homes skirting it. Yes, those fancy homeowners pay property taxes. However gains realized far exceed taxes they’ll ever pay. It's the same old story – the rich, well-connected figure a way to gain while the rest of us pay.

Instead of doing some investigative reporting, this poor excuse for a newspaper editor tells the council to put the management of the course out for bid. Management is the key word here.

What a wonderful little ploy. The council asks for bids. Not surprisingly there are none for the simple fact that no management changes are going to return a profit. So the poor city and those benefiting from status quo will say we tried to find a "private company" we did, honestly.

Look here Thurlow, we’re not stupid. Instead of suggesting putting this white elephant out for "management" bid, suggest that it be one of the properties the city is trying to sell - you know like the old Penny's building downtown. That would be a bid that would have a sloo of takers. Every developer in the area including many in Vegas and Phoenix would throw their hat in the ring. The bids might even come in so high the city could put money in business retention and recruitment, build Kingman Crossing, improved roads, install sidewalks and bike paths, add landscaping, - you know things that would lead to a higher standard of living for all of us not just the homeowners with fancy taxpayer backyards.

Yes, that would result with the course being uprooted and more fancy homes being built. And yes, those present homes with fancy expensive very green back yards will have to provide their own green back yard.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: Same Old Thing

"The setup in Kingman is confusing enough, with what happens at one end (the pro shop) completely divorced from the other (maintenance and upkeep). And maybe things have changed since I last limped away."

MAYBE? Geez, I don't know Mr. Editor, MAYBE you could have used some of your news-gathering skills to find out for certain?

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