Candidates answer questions at forum
All four Kingman City Council candidates - Paul McCormick, Jerry Hawkins, Monica Gates and Frank McVey - answered a wide range of questions at a forum Thursday morning sponsored by the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce.
Voters will choose two candidates to fill the two open four-year-terms on the council.
Northern Arizona University Kingman campus executive director Tom Reno was moderator of the session that covered everything from transportation to questions such as "Do you listen to your dentist?"
Reno said the dentist question was another way of asking candidates to whom they listen and to identify mentors.
McVey said one of his mentors and a person he listened to across the back fence for years was a former councilman who happened to be a dentist, the late Paul Long.
Gates said her husband and others help her see issues from another person's point of view.
Hawkins said he listened to his parents, and now his wife, plus everyone in the room.
McCormick said "everyone needs a course in 'public listening' to hear what people are saying."
"Part of leadership is your vision of the future," said Reno.
He asked each candidate to explain their personal vision of a future Kingman.
"Kingman has the brightest future it has had in years," McVey said.
"Weather, transportation, space.
clean industries and our closeness to population centers will bring more growth," he said.
McVey said the newly-elected council members will have the difficult task of selecting a new city manager since Lou Sorensen will retire during that time.
"We need to continue to clean our city, manage our growth and be cautious.
We should be jealous of our resources and manage them well," Hawkins said.
He said he has watched Kingman grow from a town of 4,000 in 1962 to a city of 20,000 today.
Gates said she sees Kingman continuing to be a good place to raise children - and a place where they can get good jobs.
"We have manageable problems, a place to make a good life and I want to ensure that we continue to have a city where our children can grow up to be good citizens," she said.
McCormick said, "I remember coming to Kingman from Tucson and jogging mornings watching the sun come up over the Hualapai Mountains and breathing lots of fresh air.
I want to see that continue."
He said responsible leadership should manage growth, improve private and public transportation, clean the city and control growth.
In opening statements, candidates told the audience what they would bring to the council and why they would be a good council member.
Gates said she would bring diversity and balance to the council.
Kingman has a diverse population with a wide range of incomes, living conditions, education and backgrounds and the council should reflect that diversity she said.
She said to look ahead, not back, and move forward with optimism.
Hawkins said his service on the city council and the record of accomplishment of this council qualifies him to continue.
He asked voters to keep the team together.
He advised caution and careful growth.
McCormick said he has been in public service in Kingman since 1974 and has experience in city government.
Keeping in touch with people and learning to listen to the people have been important to that service he said.
He expressed pride in city accomplishment within budget.
McVey said his work in construction, park service, and attendance at council meetings help qualify him.
His morning walk in downtown Kingman where he stops to listen to people has kept him in touch with community needs, he said.
He would like to see more people voting and more people involved in a making informed decisions about the city.
Chamber president Beverly Liles said she hoped the forum would encourage more people to vote in Tuesday's election and be more informed in their decisions.
The forum was organized by Tom Carter and the chamber Business and Government Relations Committee and held at the Elks Lodge.