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Tue, July 16

Column | Too much democracy is like too much honey

It was one of the hardest lessons I ever learned. If I hadn’t been a hardheaded teenager, I would have realized it was one of pearls taught in the Bible. It was one of those lessons I had to experience, not read about.

When I was a kid growing up in Kingman and in my teens, I spent several of my summers traveling back and forth across Arizona because my stepfather was in the road construction business. Wherever the job was during the summer months without school, I was spending my weekdays there. It wasn’t all that bad in hindsight. I do have some splendid memories of Kayenta, Flagstaff, Snowflake, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

When we made the drive to Snowflake on those Sunday evenings, we would stop in Holbrook at a Mexican restaurant the entire family loved. That is where I was introduced to the sopaipilla.

They were absolutely delicious. A fried pastry like a bread that we would open up, put in dollop or so of honey, and it felt like a bit of heaven. Sopaipillas made those Sunday drives to Snowflake worthwhile.

The summer ended, I returned to school, and the drives to Snowflake ended. So, too, did my sopaipilla supplier. That is until Mom came through.

My mom is a terrific cook. I don’t get to eat as much of it as I used to, but I sure do remember her wonderful spaghetti sauce, chili, potato pancakes, homemade macaroni and cheese, etc. If my mom made it, then it was good.

One day I walked into the kitchen after hearing Mom working some of her magic.

“What are you making?” I asked.

“Sopaipillas,” Mom said.

I could hear the angels in heaven singing. My eyes lit up when I saw some already fried and resting on a plate. Oh, how I thought the good Lord was on my side at that moment. Especially when Mom said I could have as many as I wanted.

And boy, oh boy, did I! Sopaipilla and honey; sopaipilla and honey; sopaipilla and honey.

Looking back on it, I can’t tell you how many I had. What I can tell you is that after a horrific night with my gut wrenching and my ribs hurting, I have stayed away from sopaipillas and honey until last year. In the past year I have used honey again, and I’m now 53 years old.

Sometimes, too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing. In that regard, democracy is like honey.

I see that the “Great Arch” welcoming folks to Kingman conversation has returned. Instead of “The Biggest Little City In The World” sign like the one they have in Reno, Nevada, Kingman’s should say “Where Politics Go To Recall.”

This year we have had one recall to rid us of Mayor Monica Gates dry up and go away after much fanfare. There’s a petition circulating to negate City Council’s decision to raise the city sales tax rate $5 for every $1,000 spent to make Kingman a city with a vibrant economy because that $5 for every $1,000 turns into $150 if you buy a $30,000 car. That apparently is making people go out of town to buy vehicles. I heard of one person from Kingman going to North Carolina to buy a vehicle. That was before the sales tax increase.

And now we have a recall for not just one City Council member, but for six of the seven. They have listed their reasons to recall, including:

• Mayor Gates – If a vote doesn’t go her way, she pouts.

• Vice Mayor Jen Miles – “Her only interest is spending the city’s money on useless items when our streets are in such bad condition.”

• Vickie Kress – “only interested is (in) spending taxpayer’s money on useless items.”

• Travis Lingenfelter – For being “a self-opinioned person.”

• Jamie Stehly – She only wanted the street she lived on paved.

• David Wayt – “He appears to be a non-productive member.”

The only Council member to have survived this recall action is Stuart Yocum. It stands to reason why he wouldn’t be included. He is, after all, the only Council member to be charged with actual crimes this year.

Democracy and honey. We could use a 38-year break from the former in Kingman.


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