Mayor says Kingman is strong because of its people

The industriousness and generosity of residents make Kingman a strong city, according to Mayor Les Byram.

April 8-12 has been declared "Strong Cities and Towns Week" by a Kingman City Council resolution in conjunction with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and other municipalities across Arizona.

"The people of Kingman value the quality of life in the city," Byram said.

"They are an industrious and generous people."

The purpose of "Strong Cities and Towns Week" is to encourage elected officials and city and town workers to interact with residents and help them learn more about municipal services and how they improve quality of life.

The celebration of "Strong Cities and Towns Week" is tied to the celebration of Kingman's 50 anniversary of incorporation, Byram said.

The city is in the midst of a yearlong celebration of 50 years of incorporation and a wide variety of activities.

They began with a polar bear plunge Jan.

1, an essay contest for students and development of a special logo.

A city booth at the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase won the prize for best use of the theme, Kingman's 50th Birthday.

A citywide block party is planned for June 1 including the Yada Yada Parade and the antique fair.

The city float will be unveiled.

Byram said Kingman's diversified economy is essential to the quality of life in the city and provides income for the services essential to the good life.

"We no longer depend on a seasonal tourism economy that was boom in the season and bust the remainder of the year," he said.

Byram identified the Ford Proving Ground at Yucca as a first boost to the local economy in 1954-55.

The Ford Motor Co.

continues to be an important area employer.

The Duvall Mine added 400 well-paying jobs and brought families to the area.

"I was at Manzanita School when they opened the mine," Byram said.

"We went from 300 students to 900 in three years."

When the mine closed 20 years ago, Kingman felt the economic impact and survived a difficult transition.

"The diversified economy that supports Kingman in 2002 is centered at the Kingman Airport Industrial Park," he said.

"Over 70 companies supply jobs for 2,000 people."

Kingman became the first incorporated city in Mohave County in January 1952.

Lake Havasu City did not exist and Bullhead City was still Hardyville.

Don Laughlin's Riverside is celebrating 35 years on the Colorado River.

Byram said the Kingman Little League is also 50 years old this season.