Growth. That word. Growth, growth, growth, growth ... growth. There, I got it out of my system. I really don't like that word at all, because its meaning changes depending on who you talk to. So I'm not going to use it in today's column again. I'm not anti-growth (technically a different word), mind you, I'm anti-growth. There is a difference.
Anti-growth is a term total-growthers (made-up word) use to define those who do not want full-speed-ahead growth. (Shoot! I didn't make it very far.) It's a handy label. If you're opposed to a development project, you're anti-growth. If you point out flaws in a plan, you're anti-growth. If you question the past record of a developer, you may be a red ... no, sorry, check that ... you're anti-growth.
"But it could cost taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up the mess," you say. Good try. You're still anti-growth "But I want growth, just not the bad kind," you argue. Nope. Once again, that's anti-growth. "But what if ..." When your sentence starts with the word but, you're anti-growth. "I don't understand." Oh, you're soooo anti-growth!
Total-growthers see anti-growthers as old men on front porches, scowls on their faces, shaking clenched fists in the air whenever cars drive by. I had the pleasure this week to talk to a few total-growthers. Well, one. The other one hung up on me. I've never talked to anyone entirely against growth. I guess there are some. I figure you find them hiding away in '60s-era campers out in the desert somewhere.
I mean, how could anyone in their right mind be anti-growth? Seriously? Okay, maybe a Geico caveman, you know how they are, but surely no one actually alive would want to live in a community that has stopped progressing.
Growth and anti-growth are not black or white terms. You're not one if you're not the other. Most residents here, thankfully, refuse to be defined that way. They understand that what it really boils down to is, what kind of a town do you want to live in? How do you want Kingman to grow? Rhodes Homes' pace or a bit slower than that? The small percentage of residents who voted last spring chose the latter.
For the record, the Miner, its editor and its publisher are not anti-growth. What in the world would we gain by encouraging fewer people to move here? Fewer people means fewer readers. Fewer readers means pink slips. You show me an anti-growth paper, the county weekly for example, and I'll show you every other newspaper in the country.
I personally take my responsibility as an editor very seriously. I also understand a newspaper's duty to the community it serves. Besides informing the public of news and being a record of local happenings and events, a paper must strive to build business in a community. We do this several ways in the Miner every day, and we will continue to encourage business and industry at every opportunity.
There's another responsibility a paper has to the community it serves, and the Miner has not always been proficient in this area. I'm talking about being a watchdog. Informing readers is not enough. A paper must explore, and if applicable, expose the practices of individuals, companies and government when laws are broken or when residents are not being given the entire story.
While some might see this as "bad" news or negative news, I see it as essential news. Anything that can be done to give residents a clearer understanding, whether it be on a Council decision or on a developer's questionable practices in the past, we will do.
The Miner will not wilt when unreasonable demands are made of it or when stupid, untrue rumors are circulated in an attempt to discredit. The latest rumor is too stupid to even mention.
Problems cropped up this week as we upgraded our computer system. For those who've worked in companies with several computers hooked together on one terminal, I'm sure you can empathize with our plight. I apologize to readers looking for the Scoreboard in Monday's paper, and I have no idea what happened to some of the headlines in Wednesday's and Thursday's papers. Luckily, we have a computer whiz at the paper, and he is working diligently to solve the problems.