For months the citizens of Kingman have been trying to get the attention of the City Council, city manager and department heads - all for naught.
We asked them to break out bond issues so the voters could vote on them separately, and they said "No way!" We asked them not to go to the city's bonding capacity in case of emergencies. They again said "No way!" We asked them to wait a year on the proposed Kingman Crossing project until the city could at least present the project legally. And, again, it was an emphatic "No way!"
Until last Tuesday, the only thing we heard in response to our pleas was smart-alec remarks from some of our City Council members of "We were elected to office and we will make the decisions on how to run this City." When city residents took the big step to (gulp) speak before the Council about an agenda item important to them, they were asked the question of "where do you live" and "why do you care if you live one mile, three miles or whatever miles away from whatever project?" If you ever find yourself faced with that question by a Council member, the best answer is: "I am a citizen and voter in the city of Kingman and it doesn't matter where I live in proximity to any project."
Now here's a news flash: "The citizens of Kingman really want a lot of these bond projects! They really want to grow our city responsibly. However, you'll hear the "special interest" groupies use the old white that voters don't want growth. Yes we do! There are people who say no one comes up with ideas and solutions. Here's a few examples, and I am begging the City Council to at least form a committee of citizens from all walks of life throughout the city to discuss ideas for actually getting good bonds approved. For example:
Approve a $10 million bond to provide the funds to make the Rattlesnake Wash interchange a reality. (ADOT has it on the plan and will pay 70 percent of the total.)
Approve bonds for both the 911 center and the police/fire training facility. They are both important and should be done. However, instead of only bonding for the property and the "scoping" (I'm pretty sure scoping means the design and solving any engineering problems), actually build the buildings and buy the equipment (which was not included in the failed bond).
And, due to the good thinking of the citizens of Kingman, we have property (168 acres) for both of these facilities. (With that much acreage, there will still be plenty of land available for parks and open space).
Re-evaluate a good plan for another underpass between Hualapai Mountain Road and Airway. A good one! We need to be able to get those thousands of people off the Hualapais in case of an emergency.
An $80 million school bond was approved last year. Work with Kingman Unified School District (as we have with Kingman Academy of Learning to use their sports facilities) and place a new high school on the east side of 66 (remember, we have 168 acres over there).
Then, work as a team with the school district to build a sports complex over there, the fastest growing quadrant of the city. The failed bond only provided to buy land and scope the property. We have to ensure a bond that would actually build the buildings, design and build the fields, and out of necessity, make ongoing funds available to maintain them because the Parks director recently stated at a public meeting even if the Parks bond had passed, the city did not have funds available to maintain them! How sad is that? And, in conjunction with building a police facility, we would have a high degree of police presence near a high school and park facilities.
Hopefully, the City Council has finally heard the voices of the people (60-percent majority is a landslide when only 27 percent of the voters vote), and they will be more responsive to forming a "bond committee."
It was my understanding that the department heads, city manager and City Council were responsible for drafting their bond "wish lists."
Perhaps next year when bond issues are again put up for the citizens of Kingman to approve, they will be project-specific, honest, open and transparent, and the voters will be more comfortable in spending the money needed to grow our city responsibly!