Change in industrial park management long overdue
It is clear changes need to be made in the management of OUR airport and industrial park.
The Kingman Airport and Airport Industrial Park is owned by the city and operated and managed under contract by the private corporation, Kingman Airport Authority, Inc.
More and more citizens are recognizing KAA, Inc., is not managing our assets well. Joe Gutierrez spoke of the loss of the Kingman Airshow in a Daily Miner letter to the editor on July 9.
It is yet another example of KAA, Inc., not performing to the letter of their contract. The contract states under the clause entitled Promotion of Airport Activities and Supervision, "The AUTHORITY (document capitalization) agrees to use diligent efforts to promote aeronautical activities at the airport ..."
One could also cite violation of that clause when Great Lakes Airlines ceased its air service. Kingman lost the only regularly scheduled commercial air carrier in the entire county. KAA, Inc., failed "to use diligent efforts to promote aeronautical activities" by not working with Great Lakes to promote the service. With proper promotion and operation, the carrier certainly could have filled a 19-seat aircraft from the 204,000 perspective passengers living in the county.
The city government and KAA, Inc. were warned numerous times we were at risk of losing this valuable asset. Yet, no action was taken to "promote civil aviation."
Kingmanite Dave Bacon advocated for changes in the management of OUR industrial park (July 10 Kingman Daily Miner letter to the editor). Although the process for land sales in the industrial park is more complicated than "I want to buy the land. Here's my money," it is again clear KAA, Inc., has failed the city.
Dave French says no sales have been made at the park for seven years. This situation itself must be questioned. However, his organization shirks its responsibility to do what is necessary to answer a simple inquiry. It is not unreasonable for a company interested in buying a piece of land to ask the representative, in this case KAA, Inc., what the expected price might be. It is highly unusual for a company to be asked to perform an appraisal for land it is interested in purchasing, so KAA, Inc., can tell the buyer, "Here's what you should tell me to pay." KAA, Inc., needs to be able to give a reasonable estimate of cost to a company making such an inquiry. If that means KAA, Inc., has to conduct an appraisal every few years from its operating fund, so be it.
Then there's the issue of how effective KAA, Inc.'s, economic development entity is. Besides a city economic development commission (which is voluntary), KAA operates the only economic development entity charged with recruitment of businesses. And it was made clear in a Feb. 24, 2010, Miner article, "Airport Authority Touts Performance, Defends Against Allegations," KAA, Inc., is responsible for business expansion, retention, and recruitment only at the industrial park.
It is reported Bob Riley's salary as KAA, Inc.'s Economic Development Director is in the 6 figures. So at least $700,000 in salaries have been spent over the past 7 years for no land sales, few if any new companies, and several companies pulling up stakes, resulting in job loss.
Perhaps it is well past the time when the city government examines its contractual agreement with the present management company.