GOLDEN VALLEY - It's three weeks and they're halfway there.
The Incorporate Golden Valley pro-incorporation committee and the group's petition circulators have managed to get more than 50 percent of the registered voters' signatures they need to take the incorporation of Golden Valley to the ballot.
Unless the IGV Board of Directors decides to try for enough signatures to take the petitions to the county Board of Supervisors to gain automatic incorporation status, a vote to determine whether to create a town government in Golden Valley could happen as early as this fall. If automatic incorporation is the IGV Board's goal, the committee has about 12 percent of the signatures they will need.
The petition circulation process isn't an easy one.
"The weather last weekend was cold and windy," said Randy Cone, petition cub-committee chairman. "That slowed things down a little."
Cone said the anti-incorporation faction is starting to show an ugly side.
"We have some who aren't in favor of incorporation stop and talk to us, and that's OK," he said.
"But one guy came by where two of our ladies were working. He walked up, grabbed a pen and the petition and scribbled 'no way' on it and walked away."
The man's notation on the petition indicated he was a Bullhead City resident, but one of the petition circulators recognized him as a Golden Valley resident.
Allen Tempert at the Mohave County Elections Office in Kingman said signing a false name and/or address on the petitions or doing anything else to deliberately spoil a petition is against the law, and the man could face prosecution if the IGV chooses to press charges in writing to Tempert's office.
A dormant incorporation group, the Unification of Golden Valley, also has gone gunning for the Incorporate Golden Valley board with a letter in a local newspaper, accusing the IGV of being in collusion with a residential developer.
The IGV board discussed the potentially libelous letter at its Feb. 28 meeting and decided to respond with its own letter to all of the local newspapers that routinely cover Golden Valley.
The letter will state the IGV's refusal to engage in mudslinging and emphasize the IGV's sole goal is incorporation, bringing a local town government to Golden Valley to give residents a method of controlling the community's destiny.
Cone also presented a draft of a rebuttal letter he plans to send to the newspapers, and asked the board's permission to do so.
The board reviewed the submission and suggested Cone make a couple of minor changes before he sends it.
Ralph W. Eaton, one of the IGV's petition circulators, attended the Feb. 28 board meeting and commented during the portion of the meeting set aside for visitors.
"I'm very impressed with this group," he said.
"I've been here in Golden Valley for a long time and I've seen a lot of things. The reason I decided to work with this incorporation group instead of any of the others is that I see people who are responsible, who act like adults. You seem like you know what you're doing.
"You take your work on the incorporation seriously and you don't stoop to acting like a bunch of spoiled kids, like the other groups have done."
Chairman Henry Peairs Jr. thanked Eaton for his comments and commended him on the work he has done collecting signatures.
"You've been a lot of help and you're working hard to help us get Golden Valley incorporated," Peairs said. "That's about all we can ask of anybody."
The board will host its next monthly meeting at 10 a.m. on April 4 at the Valley Pioneers Water Co. office building, corner of Chino and Colorado roads.
For information about the IGV or the incorporation effort, call Peairs at 279-1537.
For information about the petitions, call Cone at 565-5723.