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9:17 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

City election Tuesday

Kingman voters will fill two open city council seats in the Tuesday May 16 general election, selecting from four candidates.

Voters also will be asked to approve an exemption to the budget limitations through the Home Rule Options.

A "yes" vote will allow the city to continue operating the water and sewer systems outside the budget.

Voters have approved the exemption three times.

In the first general election in 10 years, citizens will choose the council members from a field that includes Paul McCormick, Frank McVey, Jerry Hawkins and Monica Gates.

McCormick and Hawkins were appointed to fill the remainder of four-year terms.

After Tuesday, all six council members will have been elected by the voters.

Monica Gates was the leading vote-getter in the primary and missed election by 80 votes.

Gates' campaign finance expenditure was $580 through the last reporting period.

The other three candidates have exceeded $3,000 each - plus what is spent in the final two weeks before the election.

"I will make the council more diverse and would provide a voice for a group not now represented on the council," Gates said.

"I want Kingman to remain a good place to raise a family."

McCormick has run on his record through the primary and general elections.

"This council is a good team and has the city on a roll," he said.

"I want to continue the current projects within budget."

He ran third in the primary behind Gates and Dave French who was elected at that time.

Hawkins has been on the council for nearly four years and said his record with the council and other government experience qualifies him to continue on the council.

He was appointed to the council nearly four years ago.

"Caution" is the word most used by Hawkins in public statements about city issues.

He said he wants to see controlled growth and financial stability continue.

He ran fourth in the primary.

McVey has run on a platform of more open government and more citizen input.

He has mailed cards to several thousand voters in the primary and general elections to encourage voters to seek mail ballots if they cannot be at the polls.

"I am concerned about the declining percentage of citizens who vote in local elections," he said.

"I encourage every one to vote Tuesday."

Annexation is one issue where the candidates disagree.

McVey said the Butler area needs to be part of the city to unify the community and that he gives the effort unqualified support.

He points to increased valuation that would allow a higher bond capacity for projects like the Airway Extension as an advantage for annexation.

McCormick and Hawkins said their preference would be to bring in small areas over a period of time and allow the city to absorb the area without stress on the city budget.

Gates said citizens in the North Kingman area need to have a voice in city spending of their sales tax dollars but a way must be found to annex within budget restraints.

Each of the four expressed the need for the citizens to make their own decision within the areas proposed for annexation.

A new code officer and new ways to clean and beautify the city are favored by all four candidates.

Quality of life issues also were a high priority with each.