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Sun, March 24

Column | When you hear them roar, it’s time to run

I was working for an amenities company when the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino opened in Las Vegas in 1993. The company’s clients included the Excalibur, Rio, and Sands, among many others, to which it sold those little bottles of shampoo, soap, and sewing kits you find in hotel rooms. The MGM was the latest and greatest hotel to spring up in Vegas, so that account was heavily coveted where I worked.

We couldn’t get our prices down and didn’t win the account. As disappointing as it was for us, MGM had embarked on the long road to disappointment itself.

When the casino was built, it had a “Lion Entrance.” You would enter the casino by walking into the lion’s mouth and find yourself in Las Vegas bliss.

There was an important detail about walking through a lion’s mouth the idea people for MGM didn’t know about when it was first constructed.

According to Chinese Feng Shui culture, going through the mouth of a lion is considered bad luck. If you were a Chinese tourist in Las Vegas, it’s quite possible one of the last things you wanted to do was conjure up some bad luck as you headed into a casino.

MGM didn’t catch on to that until 1998, when it removed the lion’s mouth.

It may not have seemed so at the time, but having customers walk through a lion’s mouth was an important decision that MGM made. Who MGM had making those decisions was even more important.

In this election year, it’s important to understand people’s thinking if you’re going to have them making decisions for us on City Council.

There’s a popular sentiment that says incumbents have the advantage come election time. Voters know their names, and name recognition is a valuable commodity.

However, there are opposing takeaways when it comes to those running for re-election. If we’ve been paying attention, they have given hints to how they think.

What side we fall on in the great TPT debate isn’t important as we analyze Council’s process to ratification. It’s important to see how two of those members got to where they stand.

Mayor Monica Gates has implored her fellow Council members at all the workshops and Council meetings regarding the TPT that it just “isn’t right to put this burden on the taxpayers.”

What she means by the taxpayers is ALL the taxpayers. She said that she doesn’t think the customers of Kingman should have to pay for the maintenance of Kingman or the investment in Kingman.

What she wants to do is begin talks on a “secondary property tax” to fund the repairs needed for our infrastructure and growth. I have to admit I got lost at this one. Seeing how the City of Kingman does not collect a property tax, how do we jump from not having one to a secondary?

This is a conversation the mayor has stated she wants to have. She would rather have only the property owners within the city limits pay for improvements and investments and leave everyone else out of the equation. People who live in North Kingman, Golden Valley, and tourists and travelers fund our city government. It’s not a rare concept. It happens this way in every city; people from outside helping to pay its bills.

Our honorable mayor obviously believes that’s too many people.

During the discussion on ratification at Tuesday’s special meeting, Councilwoman Vickie Kress couldn’t wrap her head around what was going on. When City Council, inappropriately we have discovered, approved the TPT hike to 3.5 percent in August, it was done with two votes. However, the hike became one action in one ordinance, and the action became the ownership of Council. Kress was flabbergasted at the ratification vote that she was only going to be allowed to vote once, rather than twice like she did in August.

It could turn out Kress is correct and should have voted twice on Tuesday. The state attorney general will let us know. But the essence of this is that she couldn’t understand the other side of the argument.

When it comes to the serious topics we need Council to decide for us, we need people who can see all sides of every issue. That is how sound decisions are made.

Councilman Stuart Yocum just pled guilty for driving on a suspended license. This happened as he is in the process of contesting a DUI charge. Driving with a suspended license while awaiting the outcome of a DUI charge is not a sound decision.

As we move forward this election year, remember to ask one question when eyeballing candidates: Do they want you to walk into the mouth of a lion?


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