Early votes a sign of big turnout

Byram-Gates battle tops Tuesday ballot

Early voting for the Kingman general election on Tuesday is running ahead of the record early vote for the March primary of 1,000.

As of Friday morning, the Kingman City Clerk's office said 1,140 early ballots been sent on the Mohave County Elections Department.

The six city polling places will be open from 6 a.m.

to 7 p.m.

Tuesday.

Nearly 40 percent of registered voters turned out in the March primary with the Wal-Mart rezoning on the ballot.

The hotly contested race for mayor is the apparent reason for the interest in the General Election.

However, the voters have two other important issues on the ballot.

Kingman General Plan 2020 outlines future growth and land use for the city.

The plan was developed during the past two years with many public meetings and input.

The plan was mandated by the state Growing Smarter legislation and requires voter approval, or the current plan will remain in effect.

On another matter, city voters have approved the Home Rule budget alternative every four years since 1988.

It allows the city to fund water and sewer services with user fees and not count the cost against state budget limitations.

Explanations of both issues are in the voter information pamphlet mailed to all registered voters in the city.

The race for mayor could be as close as it was in the primary, when incumbent Les Byram led challenger Monica Gates by 142 votes with 4,446 ballots counted.

Byram and Gates are likely to make this the most expensive race for mayor in the history of Kingman, spending $8,000 to $10,000 each, according to financial records filed with the Kingman City Clerk.

Byram has run on his record of leadership during eight years as mayor.

He said Kingman has prospered under his leadership and needs him to direct the city during rapid growth.

Gates has said she chose to give up her City Council seat because she believes Kingman needs a change in leadership to meet the new needs of a city that is changing rapidly.

Issues discussed by candidates in several forums, during interviews and in campaign ads include traffic, access across the railroad, retention and recruitment of employees and how to approach the growing need for annexation.

Gates has said she would begin with the council and analyze the current budget for best use of current finances.

Byram has said city finances are solid and that residents will decide what they would be willing to pay for.

Gates and Byram have agreed that the voters have already said "No" to a primary property tax for major projects such as street improvement or railroad underpasses.

Tom Carter and Michael Schoeff are in the runoff for a City Council seat.

Carter led Schoeff in the primary 2.035 to 1,328 votes.

A candidate needed 2,223 votes, one more than 50 percent of the number cast, to be elected in the primary.

Carter is a strong supporter of annexation and Schoeff has said he would be cautious of costs of annexation for city residents.

Schoeff voted against Wal-Mart twice as a member of the Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission, citing traffic issues.

Carter supported the new Wal-Mart store and the extra sales tax it would bring and suggested ways to solve traffic problems.

Both candidates support strong and diversified economic development and have been actively promoting more good jobs.

Schoeff has expressed concern about retaining current city employees.

All candidates expressed a desire for a large turnout so each Kingman voter can be heard in the election.

Polling places

• Precincts 6 (Country Club) and 14 (Hilltop): First Assembly of God, 850 Gates Ave.

• Precincts 5 (Hualapai), 19 (East Kingman) and 20 (Southern): Moose Lodge, 302 Monroe Ave.

• Precincts 16 (North Kingman), 22 (Logasville) and 51 (Mountainview): St.

Johns Methodist Church, 1730 Kino Ave.

• Precincts 17 (Southwest Kingman) and 18 (Beale): Hilltop Southern Baptist Church, 605 Oak St.

• Precincts 38 (Fairgrounds) and 58 (Broadway): Church of Christ, 1915 Robinson Ave.

• Precinct 62 (Camelback): Church of Nazarene, 4715 Stockton Hill Road.