Johnston seeking third council term

Homer Johnston has served as a Kingman city councilman and vice mayor the past eight years and was a councilman for three years in the 1970s.

He said he wants to continue fiscally sound city government for another four-year term.

Johnston came to Kingman from Mississippi in 1963 and worked in the elementary school system for 30 years.

Most of the time was in administration, the latter part as assistant superintendent.

After leaving the public school system, Johnston was one of three founders of the Kingman Academy of Learning, a charter school.

"There are certain rewards from helping make the community a better place to live," he said.

"I still have that innate desire to serve and improve Kingman."

Johnston said the current council has provided strong leadership and given the city responsible government.

During the '70s the city was able to make water and railroad-crossing improvements along Hualapai Mountain Road and street improvements along Stockton Hill Road with federal and state money.

Today, those capital improvements must come from state road tax and local sales tax revenue.

Johnston's budget priorities remain the police and fire departments, streets and sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities and maintenance of what the city owns.

He said Kingman must keep salaries competitive so that the city can recruit and keep good people.

He said the police department, for example, trains officers who move on to better paying positions with the state or other cities.

Keeping downtown attractive to tourists and a place where residents have a reason to go is important, he said.

Council efforts to keep the county buildings downtown, support of the Powerhouse Visitor Center and construction of Southside Park are efforts to improve downtown, he added.

Johnston said annexation of the Butler/North Kingman area should be pursued when the Waste Management legal issues are settled.

Kingman residents need to know more about the benefits and the need for a financial solution so they can make a good decision if a property tax is proposed, he said.

The upcoming budget will be limited for capital projects, he said.

The city is in solid financial condition, so the lack of growth in sales tax revenue this year will not mean cuts in city services.

Any budget adjustments would come in capital expenditures.

"The finances are in good shape because the council has been conservative and had a 'pay as we go policy,' " he said.

Serving with a council that has shown good leadership and a chance to further improve the quality of life in Kingman motivated Johnston to run for a third term.