Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, March 26

Miner Editorial | Think critically about where your votes are going

Requiring a supermajority vote of Council can be a blessing for some issues, but a hindrance for others. Discussions at the last few Council meetings are a prime example. Requiring a supermajority vote of 6-1 for reallocation of funds like those for pavement preservation, as discussed by Council, works to ensure that local governments keep promises made to constituents by dedicating money to particular issues and keeping it there.

Unhappy about the increase in the TPT rate? Fair enough. However, at least Kingman residents know, and can see by driving around town, where that money is going. There seems to be a different stretch of road being improved each week. A supermajority vote of 6-1 makes rededicating those funds to another cause more difficult and helps keep elected officials accountable to those who put them in office.

Changing a previous decision is one thing, but requiring a 6-1 supermajority vote for making those decisions in the first place gums up the works of local government. Some may be unhappy that the City of Kingman is taking more of their money through its TPT rate increase. But how did that decision come to be? Through councilmembers, City officials, that were elected by popular vote.

“Well I didn’t vote for them,” is not a good excuse to be up in arms, since others did, enough so that these individuals got Council seats. We, as American citizens, learn at an early age we are part of a representative democracy. If we strip Council of its power to make tough decisions, which is exactly why they were elected, nothing can be accomplished in a timely manner. Holding a citizen vote for every issue that is a cause of debate in the community means nothing will be accomplished but through time consuming public forums and votes.

Voting only on specific issues here and there fails to make the most of our political system. The surest way for your voice to be heard is by registering to vote in primary and general elections, which is only half the battle. The other, and more important half, is to actually get out and vote. Vote for the candidate whom you believe will advocate for shared beliefs and goals. However, the vote you cast for a candidate shouldn’t be done passively. A smart vote involves researching a candidate and issues associated with the election.

But a tax rate increase is such an important issue. Shouldn’t it be left to the voters?

It was, when the voters voted for the current Council makeup. That frame of thought leads to the question: Are our elected officials only in office to make trivial decisions? If so, then what’s the point of local government?


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