KINGMAN – Mayor elect Jen Miles woke up Wednesday morning feeling “tired and happy,” running on about three hours of sleep after awaiting election results at the Mohave County Administration Building passed 11 p.m. Tuesday night, and says she spent Wednesday morning replying to “beautiful thoughts being sent my way.”
Miles described herself as excited and honored to be elected to serve as Kingman’s next mayor, adding a “special thank you” to everyone who voted and those who assisted her in Tuesday’s victory.
Miles said the significant amount of campaign contributions she received, more than $17,000 compared to Mayor Monica Gates’ $1,250, played a vital role in her being elected. Miles garnered 2,745 votes to Gates’ 2,284 votes.
“The contributions allowed me to be able to utilize the media and the print services, and be able to broadcast my message to the community so that every person, every citizen, in Kingman would know what my platform is, what I stand for,” she said. “Because I wanted to make sure that everyone knew my positions on all of the major issues the City faces.”
The mayor-elect feels the results of Tuesday’s election are a testament to the work currently being done in Kingman.
“It feels humbling and also it feels validating because I believe the election showed that the citizens support and appreciate the efforts being made to improve and grow our community,” she said.
Miles plans to continue those efforts, including infrastructure and capital improvements, as she sits on Council as vice mayor until December.
“I think we need to continue our progress in making Kingman the kind of city people love to live in,” Miles said. “One that attracts and retains our families, youth and quality amenities.
“So I plan to just keep working with all the stakeholders to move forward on those things that are in progress that we have already initiated,” Miles said. “And part of that, for example, is getting ready to give the presentation in October to the state transportation board looking for (interchange) funding.”
She will also work with stakeholders when it comes to groundwater preservation. Throughout the course of the next few months in preparation for legislative session, Miles aims to “collaborate with our state legislators and other stakeholders to pursue solutions for our groundwater preservation.”
She noted the importance of educating the public about maintaining the current 3.5 percent sales tax rate, and keeping the 1 percent increase.
“That’s going to be on the ballot in November, and the public needs to be very informed about what that additional 1 percent is doing for us and how critical it is for us to advance our future,” she said.
The mayor-elect believes the current Council has made progress on infrastructure and the development of the interchanges with the goal of expanding jobs. That work will continue when she assumes the mayoral seat.
“I believe that this Council has been moving Kingman toward that brighter future we talk about through the decisions we’ve made on a number of levels, but especially those to generate funding for investment in the city and the vision that we created for Kingman as a highly-livable city where people want to live, work, stay and ultimately retire,” she said. “And so I think the nature of the work that lies ahead will focus on making good on the things we have said that are important to make that vision real.”
Mayor Monica Gates wished Miles well via a Facebook post Wednesday morning.
“The voters have spoken,” she wrote. “Wishing Jen Miles all the best as Kingman’s next mayor.”
“I’m just so honored and deeply appreciative, and I will work diligently with all the stakeholders to make significant progress in making this vision for Kingman come to fruition,” Miles said.