Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, Jan. 24

City manager has the perfect job

Think about the perfect job. You get to write your own employment agreement. You start at $120,000 per year (that is $2,500 per week or $500 per day) plus bank 30 days vacation and 30 days sick leave at the time the contract is signed!

You also get 20 days (4 weeks) vacation plus 12 days sick leave per year over and above the banked days. And, if your employer decides to terminate you, you will still get 52 weeks of salary (worth approximately $225,000 to date) to go away (as long as you don't get convicted of a crime)!

Now, before you start looking around for one of these jobs, unfortunately there is only one and that is held by Kingman City Manager Paul Beecher who, just recently, was reviewed by the City Council and retained for another year - at his present annual salary of $149,000.

Since Mr. Beecher signed the above-mentioned employment agreement in January 2005, the city has increased its salary budget by $5 million and Beecher has earned the devotion of the city's department heads by pushing through increases of their salaries by approximately 25 percent. Most are now making annual salaries in the mid-$90,000 range!

We all have read of "Golden Parachute" packages. They are usually given by grateful stockholders to their CEOs who have made a ton of money for the companies they command. Granted, the severance package Mr. Beecher would receive is chicken feed compared to these corporate executives, but Kingman's budget does not exactly compare to Xerox, Ford or Disney. So, the citizens of Kingman will pay what I consider is a ton of money if Mr. Beecher is removed from office unless he is convicted of a felony!

The current City Council, in executive session, came to a "consensus" (in Mayor Byram's own words) and decided to extend Mr. Beecher's contract for another year. Whether or not they gave him an increase in salary (they did not), they voted, then refused to divulge the vote to the people of Kingman who elected them, using the excuse that they cannot divulge what was said at executive session.

City Council, please review Arizona Revised State Statute 38-431.03(D) and then do this "consensus" out in the open at a public meeting! If you refuse to do this, we can only assume whom on the Council wanted to retain Mr. Beecher and that will be remembered in the coming elections next May.

Crossed wires

I just finished reading the agenda for the Monday Council meeting, and wow, the city manager and Council are not letting any grass grow under its feet in their quest to sell the city's 168 acres on the south side of I-40. It really doesn't matter that nearly 1,200 citizens signed their names in protest of the city changing the land use of this acreage from open land/parks to high commercial usage.

Truth is, it really doesn't matter what the citizens of Kingman want or don't want - the city manager and Council have a timeframe that they are working toward to allow Vanderbilt/Vestar to buy this property.

Nevermind that this is probably the worst market ever for selling real estate! Our arrogant Council members who voted for the Kingman Crossing interchange aren't going to change their minds. You start to ask yourself, "Why?" and again, "What's the hurry?"

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