Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Mon, June 17

Column: Salem's tenure was very good for Kingman

John Salem's world is crashing down, and Kingman will be poorer for it.

The mayor's business fell victim to the sour economy and his father is dying. There are probably other factors that are part of the equation, and when he added them all together, the only real option was to resign in order to do what must be done elsewhere.

Kingman is going to miss him.

Prior to Salem's election, City Hall was a wild and woolly place with a scandal a week the apparent norm.

Not big stuff, generally, but enough to give Council meetings a bit of an edge.

That all changed when Salem won the first of his three terms as mayor. A relative calm prevailed, though not necessarily because Salem is Mr. Mellow. But he is an effective leader who came along when the city desperately needed one to take charge.

Salem offered a steady hand in tough times. The hard decisions he made weren't universally popular, but Kingman has a balanced budget and a full array of services despite sharply declining revenues.

And that's not bad.

Good luck to you, Mr. Mayor, if you must leave.

•••

A few days back I fielded a call from someone offering stories that would provide tips to "people of color" on dealing with Obamacare.

The conversation ended shortly after I advised the caller that, regardless of your color, Obamacare is going to suck.

The Association for Mature American Citizens offers weekly updates on just how bad Obamacare is going to suck. AMAC gained more traction when AARP (motto: To hell with the grandkids, I'm getting mine!) jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon and stayed there, despite mounting evidence this won't be good for retirees. AARP will keep insisting Social Security is sound, right up to the point where the checks stop showing up, and by doing so it will paralyze cowardly politicians from taking steps that will help avert disaster.

The latest from AMAC points to growing union opposition to Obamacare, plus the news that there are "9,000 pages of new regulations and 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes in the Affordable Care Act," including nine dealing with injuries caused by macaws and two on injuries caused by turtles.

There's also the cheery note on the IRS's "sweeping new powers under Obamacare" while the same powerful agency is embroiled in the worst kind of scandal targeting the free speech rights of Americans.

I recommend visiting http://amac.us/ so you can read Dan Weber's commentary in its entirety. The whole site is a refreshing change of pace from the steady diet of big government worship you get from AARP.

•••

The letter from the utility company advised me that I was using way more electricity than my neighbors. I looked at it front and back several times, figuring the letter must include at the very least a coupon for a couple of free steak dinners. Why else would the electric company send me a letter telling me that I'm giving them a lot more money on average than the rest of the people on my block?

Then I settled in to actually read the letter. I was stunned to find they were, tactfully, criticizing me for using a lot of what they were selling.

What's the world coming to?

This would make sense if there was an energy shortage, though they wouldn't be sending me a letter because electricity would be so expensive I'd be using a lot less. But the U.S. is sitting on an ocean of natural gas and oil, so much of it there's talk of the U.S. producing more than we consume. Enough energy, they say, to last for 300 years, or 299 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 58 minutes if I forget, again, to close the back door after turning on the AC.

In other words, the energy outlook is so bright it's probably only a matter of months before the Obama EPA makes up a lot of evidence based on a lousy Matt Damon movie and declares fracking illegal.

Until then, though, I'm still waiting for those steak dinner coupons.

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