Guest Column: Are we sure we want Gates again?
So, it has come to my knowledge that Mrs. Monica Gates wasn’t quite the “people’s choice” in two of her three elections. As I found out, she only garnered 53% of the votes when she won the mayoral race (runoff) in 2004 – just barely a majority, but it WAS against an incumbent. Then in 2006 when she ran for re-election against the same incumbent she had beaten two years earlier, she only received 42% of the vote, losing her bid for that seat by 16% to the same guy she had previously bested. Guess the people weren’t as thrilled with her promises and performance as they had anticipated.
So, Ms. Gates tried again two years later and this time the vote didn’t go to the run-off, but was settled in the “primary” election with Monica taking a whopping 16% of the votes while the elected Mayor received 60% (the rest, 23%, went to the candidate who was a current city council person).
I also understand from a bit of research that two weeks after she was sworn in as Mayor in 2005 and under the watch of Mayor Gates, the city manager was fired and a new one with a whopping 33.33% RAISE was hired. Now I know those were better times fiscally than now, but a one-third pay increase for the same position? Sounds terribly excessive to me! OH YES... and there is rumor (?) about a $200,000 golden parachute... and you thought those only happened in Big Corporate Businesses, didn’t you? Nope, they happen in small-ish local governments too... IF the right persons are in power!
But, then to not allow any stone to be unturned nor any dollar to remain unspent, the city staff received an immediate (whatever happened to staying within a previously stated budget?) pay raise and to keep the voices quiet and peaceful, a second raise followed that... Let the good times roll and damn the future!
Under the watch of Mayor Gates, an “impact fee” was established which some say caused businesses – particularly home builders – to suffer. In fact, the co-founder of Angle Homes said to the Kingman Daily Miner that he “believes foreclosures created the slump [that hurt the home building trade], but maintains that impact fees played a role as well.” He continued by saying, “Anything that drives costs up impacts the customers.”
Now, I don’t know much about the construction business, impact fees nor running a government. I do know about taxing people to death by raising taxes and fees on businesses that must pass those costs on to the buyers – i.e., you and me, folks, you and me!
So, in closing, I don’t believe a person who has run multiple times for mayor and won once and lost twice is the right choice for the city of Kingman now. The 84% of the voters who did not support Monica Gates in 2008 must have still had it fresh in their minds what she represented – more fees to businesses hurting both construction and downtown, higher wages for city workers (who may deserve greater wages, but lets do it the right way, within the transparent budgetary process), and somebody who may have had Kingman’s best interests at heart but didn’t translate those intentions to real sustained growth within the city.
And on a personal note to Ms. Monica Gates: I asked you a question, in my social media page about Kingman City Elections 2016, about an answer you gave my wife and I on your vote in 2003 (when you WEREN’T really a “newbie” as you told the Kingman Conservative Club members – you applied to run for the Mayor position that same September!).
You told us it was a consent agenda item and we found out different. I asked you to explain that and you didn’t/couldn’t. Well, I’m not asking you to explain yourself again, but please feel free to discount any of the items I’ve mentioned here, as they are all part of public record in various places.
It would be interesting.