It became readily apparent that public safety is not terribly important to our City Council. I learned at Tuesday’s meeting that Kingman Police Department asked for more manpower and equipment. They had to compromise and only got half the manpower they requested.
I also learned that regardless of owning land south of Kingman Crossing and north of Rancho Sante Fe Parkway (aka Rattlesnake Wash), we still don’t have plans to build our badly needed police substation or another fire station to lessen response times critical for saving lives and property.
The Council’s main focus seems to be getting one or two interchanges done for the sake of getting them done and making money on land sales. Money I thought might pay for the development of the interchanges and the development of infrastructure.
But we have no idea what the land value truly is. Worse yet, the commercial development they are looking at will be mainly motels and restaurants with some furniture and maybe a clothing store or two thrown in. In order to get a developer to come in and take care of building all this, they have to give away some, if not a large portion, of the sales tax that development would provide in future years.
All to gain what? Some big corporate hotels and restaurants that would take away from our own, locally established businesses? How does spreading out the incoming tourist dollars and having to give a portion of that away going to increase our revenue? We should be focusing on bringing all of the tourism into the heart of our community and not to the fringes.
I was OK with the crossing if it meant getting a better call response time for public safety. I am not OK with the idea that the council seems to be flying by the seat of their pants.
The council has no idea how much water runs through those borrow pits that were dug to build up Interstate 40. They have no idea where that water goes (part of it right through Kingman Crossing, which is why there is a culvert under the freeway). It heads out into the basin between the airport and Valle Vista, and Lake Mead Rancheros into Red Lake.
The council has no idea how much or how little their land is worth. How can they “set the table” for negotiations with the hospital, who wants part of the retail sales tax for developing Kingman Crossing itself, when they don’t know if it is fine china and silver or plastic forks with paper plates?
Public safety should be at the front of their wishlists – not pretty parks. We already have restaurants and retail space, so more of that won’t help revenue stream increases all that much. We have 20 motels and hotels at least, and none of them are full all the time. We have more restaurants than that by far, and if you stop people before they come to the heart of town, then those are the ones we have may close. Some of our eateries are icons or mom and pop places. When you divide up the tourist dollar like that between the town and the fringe businesses, it is the same dollar. You’re just spreading it out and then giving part of it away.
What was I thinking to trust that council had the city’s best interests at heart. If it did, it would be more focused on how to get grants for public safety. The council is more focused on a crossing and interchange that is going to line a developer’s pockets, but it needs to help the people already here.
I hate when I find myself falling down a rabbit hole with no rope to grab. But I must admit, when I do fall in a rabbit hole, I pick a big one. I only want the best for our city and our residents, and the more I learn the better I can understand and fight for what is right.
What is right is we need our public safety issues solved. The response times are too long, and we can’t have police jumping fences to get somewhere faster than driving. We have more homes being built in the Kingman Crossing development area now, and the population growth is out-pacing our infrastructure.
The disdain I see on some of the faces of the council and their body language is shameful. It’s easy to tell whom they barely tolerate or even dislike. The council deserves respect, but so do the speakers and it is hard to maintain respect for people whose body language and mannerisms clearly say, “You are not worthy of my time, or your ideas are old and archaic, and get with the times.”
I bring this up, because I want the council to be aware, and I want my friends and neighbors aware. We should all be focused on what is best for the whole, not the few. We should also try to voice our opinions.
City and county governments are the only governments that we can directly influence as individuals. Train them right in the city, and then they can take those lessons forward in their political lives as they move up in elected positions.
If we’re silent, then they have no idea you disagree. They assume your silence is agreement. They assume you have no questions if you do not ever ask.
And that is a subject for a later date.