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11:42 AM Mon, Oct. 22nd

Marvin's Window: Sorensen leaves behind solid legacy

I looked out my window this week and saw Kingman, as it was when I first visited the town in the mid-1970s.

Actually, I was a tourist trying to make the best possible time from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

I stopped for gas and a cold drink and let everyone visit the bathroom, loaded the car and zoomed on my way to the Grand Canyon.

I did not know that I had traveled the famous Route 66.

We were on the final leg of a trip from Norman, Okla., through Kansas to visit my family in Oregon.

The Columbia River highway was the "famous" road I knew about.

I probably was stressed by the heavy truck traffic that slowed my progress up El Travatore Hill.

Lou Sorensen has described the truck traffic and slow pace through Kingman prior to the opening of I-40.

I did not know Lou was city engineer and working on the widening of Stockton Hill Road.

I probably would have wondered why anyone would be building such a road from "nowhere to nowhere" because I would not have known it was connecting to the new Interstate.

My next experience with Kingman was on a bus trip from Phoenix to Laughlin with a group of fellow real estate agents.

I do not remember Kingman.

I do remember the long, straight road through Golden Valley.

All that time, Lou was managing the building of Kingman as the city expanded its borders and grew from 5,000 people to 21,000.

I might have stayed then if I had stopped long enough to meet Lou and all the friendly folks who live here.

It was exciting to see Kingman with new eyes as I pulled over the hill with a rental tuck towing my car in October 1999.

I was coming to Kingman to cover the county beat for the Kingman Daily Miner.

Before I could get the truck unloaded and get ready to begin work, Sean had transferred me to the city beat and Ken Hedler moved over to cover the county.

Covering the county the past two years would have been exciting.

However, I thank Sean and Ken most every day for moving me to the city beat where I met Lou, the mayor and council and a lot of friendly city employees.

I have learned to appreciate the openness of Lou.

No topic has ever been off limits.

He has always been patient and explained the history of issues.

He never gets upset when I ask a lot of questions and challenge the status quo in Kingman.

I have learned to appreciate his deliberate style.

Lou always has time for me, for employees, for citizens and for the council.

He takes his time to gather the facts, give them consideration and present reasoned analysis to the council and mayor for policy decisions.

The style has helped him work with six mayors and 34 council members over a 29-year career in the city.

I am sure he has had his share of controversy and critics over that time period.

Yet, he continues to smile and move ahead doing what he believes will make Kingman a better place to live.

He leaves the city in sound financial condition with virtually no debt, a good staff and a solid infrastructure.

When I was talking to the finalists for his job, each one commented on positives of following Lou because there are so many good things on which to build.

I do not have to listen long to the problems facing the county and other cities in Mohave County to appreciate the cooperative attitude, sound finances and good infrastructure in Kingman.

For my money, Lou Sorensen deserves a lot of credit for that.

He is turning over the reigns to Roger Swenson and other city staff he recruited.

He gives them a solid ship in excellent condition to sail into the future.

Roger, the council and mayor and the citizens of Kingman can look forward to building the future from a solid foundation.

They can concentrate on a vision for Kingman without the burden of making "repairs" first.

Working with Lou covering the city beat, is one of the many reasons coming to Kingman is one of the better decisions I have made.

Thanks, Lou.

We will take good care of the legacy you leave to Kingman.