Column by Sean McMahon, Miner News Editor
It was most saddening to read the front page story on Thursday that was headlined "Kingman council split on redistricting; Lyons, McVey like new map."
How disheartening the two Democrats on the Kingman City Council – Ray Lyons and Frank Drew McVey – have forsaken all propriety and said they would prefer to aid Democratic Gov.
Janet Napolitano instead of making certain that we residents of Kingman and Mohave County have our fair share of any representation in the state Legislature.
The two men voted against protesting the currently preferred, redrawn legislative maps for Arizona.
Currently, Mohave County is fully contained within District 3.
Under the new map proposal, Kingman will be grouped with the 67-percent Democratic Navajo Nation, Bullhead City will be grouped with a larger Flagstaff and 85 percent of Lake Havasu City; while southern Lake Havasu City will be clumped with a district that includes LaPaz County and a portion of northwestern Maricopa County, which includes Peoria.
But for two men who could have solidified a protest on Kingman's, Bullhead City's and Lake Havasu City's behalf to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission to think of party first and their own electorate not at all, borders on the unconscionable.
This isn't new thinking on Ray Lyons' part, as he backed the unions in place in their move against the Wal-Mart Supercenter, which we now know had nearly three times as much support as there was against it.
Lyons is a long-time union man.
That is not the problem.
That he would back the unions is not a surprise and should certainly not be held against him.
But the flip side of the subject is that he did not represent the people in his constituency who put him into office.
Every geographic region of Kingman supported that Wal-Mart, but it was his outside interests – the union in that case – that prevailed when it came to his voting as a member of the Kingman City Council.
The same is true with the redistricting.
He is not representing those who elected him to office, but he is living his allegiance to "the party" while holding a not-partisan position to represent the residents of Kingman.
Much the same can be said of Frank McVey, the other espoused Democrat on the Kingman City Council.
Frankly, for a bunch of people involved in non-partisan politics, and as a registered Independent, not being in allegiance to any single party, I find it pretty frustrating and discouraging to see party politics entering at all into city issues and into what is best for the residents of Kingman.
Neither Lyons nor McVey was elected by the Democrats or the Republicans to their council seats.
They were elected to the Kingman City Council by residents of this city – not just the ones who live downtown or those who live in Rancho Santa Fe or Country Club Estates.
They were elected by all the residents of Kingman to represent the people who live here and to act in their best interests.
This has not happened and certainly isn't happening as pertains to redistricting.
The Navajo have held legislative seats in the state House and state Senate for many decades, if not longer.
To think that we can get anyone elected to the state House or Senate from Kingman – when 70 percent of the electorate is from about 200 miles and a different lifestyle away – is to bury one's head in the sand.
We have nothing in common with the Navajo, and I don't mean that on a racial level.
Our economy, our agriculture, our tourism and our business concerns are on a completely different level.
There is no commonality.
And to give up the representation of the people who put them into office is to have Mr.
Lyons and Mr.
McVey absolutely abandon their duties to the residents of Kingman.
McMahon is the Miner's news editor.Miner Photo/Mitchell Batson
Kingman's Ralph Ferguson pushes the pole away and makes his final contortion to clear the bar in last week's Kingman Multiple track and field meet.
The boys and girls' track teams were at Tolleson on Wednesday to face Maryvale and the Wolverines.