Big plans ahead for Vice Mayor Jen Miles
KINGMAN – In her campaign to drop the “vice” from her official city title, Vice Mayor Jen Miles says the City of Kingman needs to grow and thrive, and if elected mayor, she would continue to work on the interchange projects, downtown development and City projects like park expansion and “streetscaping.”
Miles said the City has taken the necessary first steps in promoting growth by hiring a group to come up with an economic development plan. The plan will guide the City in its growth based on input and previous economic studies, Miles explained.
“We’re well on our way to growing in a way that is positive for Kingman, and we need to continue that growth,” she said.
She believes the 1 percent Transaction Privilege Tax, or sales tax, increase ratified by council in January is “critical” for Kingman’s growth, which is why she has supported it since its inception.
“It will enable us to continue to repair and maintain our roads, and it will also allow us to address over $100 million of unfunded projects that have been on our books for decades,” Miles said.
Projects of particular importance to Miles include the Kingman Crossing and Rancho Santa Fe interchanges. She said the players in both projects such as Arizona Department of Transportation for Rancho Santa Fe and Kingman Regional Medical center for Kingman Crossing have been brought to the table.
She supports the proposed development agreement with KRMC for the construction of Kingman Crossing, but highlighted the importance of defining “new revenue” within the agreement before it’s finalized. According to the proposed agreement, KRMC would initially pay for the interchange and would have its investment returned by splitting TPT revenues with the City within the area of the interchange for up to 20 years.
“Would I like to see more direct contributions from the hospital? Yes,” Miles said. “But I don’t expect to see that in the first proposal that is going to come to Council. The bottom line is as long as the new tax revenue is defined in a way that ensures that it is new revenue, I’m OK with paying it back with the sales tax. But people have to understand, we are funding that interchanged, the hospital is just financing it.”
As mayor, Miles would also focus on downtown development.
“The way I would do that is to fully engage with the groups that are working downtown such as Kingman Main Street, Route 66, the Center for the Arts, and the ArtHub,” Miles said. “We have a lot of vitally important groups now that are working to create a vision for downtown development. The city can fully collaborate with these groups and with the private sector entrepreneurs that are putting money into their businesses so we can reach a common vision for what downtown is.”
Alongside those goals, the mayoral hopeful also wants to address “streetscaping” and lighting downtown to make for a more inviting atmosphere for people walking in that area of Kingman. She added those efforts would help downtown become a destination for tourists and citizens alike to enjoy.
“I’d go one little step further and say it’s important for the City to brand and market the city effectively,” she said. “And toward that, we have a new PIO officer that will be working to communicate with the public and the world, I hope, to speak to issues and to help market our city.”
She also supports urban trail development and ensuring the City of Kingman has adequate public safety facilities and staff. And Miles “strongly believes’ in expanding Kingman’s parks, and referenced soccer field in particular because the sport is attracting a lot of local attention.
“I really think we should not overlook expansion of our parks, and addressing the needs of families and seniors to have really lovely amenities in terms of places to go and walk around and play soccer,” Miles said.
Lastly, but toward the top of her list of priorities if elected, is addressing water sustainability. Miles says she has proposed that the city work with local officials, state legislators and governor “to effect legislative and regulatory solutions.” One way she hopes to accomplish those changes is through the creation of a rural groundwater management area.