KINGMAN – Among her achievements as mayor of Kingman for the last two years, Monica Gates has taken Kingman Crossing interchange off the shelf, worked to repave El Trovatore Hill, reduced the unfunded balance for the Public Safety Retirement System and issued the mayor’s challenge to end veterans’ homelessness.
If elected to another term, she promises to continue working with Kingman Regional Medical Center that wants to partner with the City in building the Kingman Crossing interchange.
“They’re willing to do the construction of the interchange that will benefit the community, bring new sales tax dollars and will benefit the hospital, and most importantly will not create a financial burden for taxpayers and residents of Kingman,” Gates said Friday during an interview with the Daily Miner.
She wants to put an end to the litigation over Kingman Airport and Industrial Park that has cost the City about $500,000 in legal fees. That money could have been spent on improvements at the airport terminal, she said.
Gates strongly supports the Transaction Privilege Tax, or sales tax, as it was initially proposed with a half-cent for the general fund that was going to sunset, or end, along with a half-cent for pavement preservation.
What she did not support was an additional half-cent for capital improvements and construction of the Rattlesnake Wash and Kingman Crossing interchanges.
“I didn’t support that piece and City Council had two opportunities, first during ratification and second with the May 15 initiative that asked to repeal the half-cent and add the supermajority (vote) to add new taxes and changes,” the mayor said.
“Is it necessary? No. But it’s certainly helpful to have the pavement preservation piece in there. The other piece is for city services and quality of life issues. I’m confident that our finance department and city manager have a plan in place if the initiative is successful on the ballot.”
Gates was given a $2,000 check for her previous campaign by Sunbelt Development of Las Vegas, but returned it uncashed.
Bill Lenhart, a Las Vegas investor who owns about 1,000 acres around Rattlesnake Wash, wants the city to pursue the Rancho Santa Fe interchange, which could receive up to $20 million in funding from the Arizona Department of Transportation.
“It’s going back to the developer we had in Kingman 10 years ago, Jim Rhodes,” Gates said. “Despite what people have said, I only met Jim Rhodes one time when he came into City Hall a decade ago and met with the city manager and asked the city about selling effluent (water) for Golden Valley development.
“You see what he’s done, single-handedly created all that farmland in Red Lake. He’s lost some of it, but it continues to be sold. We’ve never had this issue before. These are corporations. We’re not talking about farmers that have been here for decades. We’re talking about corporations coming in and mining our water.
Gates said everything she’s read about Lenhart indicates he’s not a developer, but a land broker.
“That’s all I can see. Nothing else. We’re talking about creating additions to the industrial park and more housing and I’m not seeing it. I’m seeing a land developer, which is essentially what we had a decade ago with Jim Rhodes. I don’t think a land broker from Las Vegas should have a seat at City Council,” Gates said.