Kingman hosts finalists for city manager job
KINGMAN – Councilmembers, business leaders and the community at large took advantage Monday night of the opportunity to get better acquainted with four of the finalists for the city manager position.
Ron Foggin, of Dallas, Oregon; Patrick Comiskey, of Thomaston, Georgia; Stephen Kil, of St. John, Indiana; and Clifford Burnett, of Weatherford, Texas attended the meet and greet session organized by the City.
Paul Ellis, of Arlington, Texas and James Rooney, of Carpentersville, Illinois, were unable to attend.
After giving brief descriptions of their backgrounds, as published March 12 in the Daily Miner, those in attendance walked from table to table to get more information on the City’s finalists.
Having received a tour of Kingman, what are your initial thoughts of the city?
Ron Foggin: This is an amazing community, it has experienced some great growth. Residential growth, commercial growth and industrial growth. Usually you have residential and then commercial and you hope for some industrial, so I think you have a great mix of all three to be successful as a community … I have driven through here a few times and I almost did not recognize the place. It really has changed a lot over the last couple of years.
Patrick Comiskey: I am impressed with the overall operations of the City. The last presentation we had (finalists received a tour of Kingman Monday afternoon) was at the fire department and I was very impressed with the way they have put together their training and operations and with improvements they have made to get their accreditation and go from a class four to a class one ISO rating … It looks like the City has put a lot of effort into its sewer operations. We saw the two plants on our tour today, it looked like the City is trying to get ahead of issues, which I thought was impressive.
Stephen Kil: There are a lot of similarities to where I come from. I come from an economic-driven, fast-paced community. I am always trying to promote city businesses, I am working on shopping-center projects right now. There is a lot of similarities, a lot of things I think I can bring to this community. I have been doing this for 25 years ... The staff was wonderful today, they could not have been better. They were informative, they were enthusiastic. They truly love the city and that speaks volumes for how wonderful the quality of life is in Kingman.
Clifford Burnett: There is a lot of potential for growth and a lot of potential for new improvements like for parks and things like that. I really enjoyed my tour today, I got to see a lot of the city’s services. All the people we met were very professional. We went to the airport first, there was a lot of industry out there. I was surprised at how much ... Then we toured the wastewater treatment plant, and they seem to have done it the right way and so that is good because that infrastructure needs to be in place.
Why do you want to come to Kingman?
Ron Foggin: It really is a good match of talent and opportunity, and I thought ‘I have got the talent and experience, and Kingman has got the opportunity and the challenges that I think I can help with.’
I am not a maintenance manager, I am a manager that looks for opportunities to help a community grow and progress. The thing about Kingman is there is great growth opportunity, but I think we have to ask ourselves, ‘How are we going to maintain the small-town feel?’ I have been able to do that with another community, and I think I can help Kingman achieve that as well.
Patrick Comiskey: Kingman is a community that is growing, a community that has a lot of potentially exciting things going on. Someone who is involved with city government would enjoy being a part of those projects and be a part of that forward progress ... The location, with all the outdoor opportunities, those things are definitely something that any individual is going to want to experience in their off-time.
Stephen Kil: My dad retired out here, so I had an eye on the Southwest … So I was actually looking at the Southwest and Kingman immediately attracted me. Elevation wise, it is at a wonderful elevation. Geography wise, just look at where it is located; you are a two-hour drive from anywhere you would ever want to be. And then look at the community, just less than 30,000, it is perfect and exactly what I am used to.
Clifford Burnett: I like the location, it is prime for a lot of recreational activities. It is pretty, it is in a nice corridor-area, but we also have family not very far off in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and so that was appealing also ... The city in itself is the right size also, I work in a city very similar in size, so that was appealing to me too.
What can you bring to Kingman?
Ron Foggin: I think I can bring great professional experience with a passion to make it (Kingman) a great community. And I love doing this work, it is extremely challenging and you do not do the same thing day-in and day-out. It is a lot of fun. With Kingman, I think there is a lot of professional-growth opportunity.
Patrick Comiskey: I have worked for a lot of people smarter than me over the years, and I am hoping that with the things I have learned from them I will be able to help give some ideas or maybe help give some direction on some projects. I have been working in local government for more than 20 years and I have had a lot of different experiences and have learned a lot over the years. I think that I would be able to help the city, the mayor and the Council and department heads on projects and come up with some creative ways of doing things.
Stephen Kil: Economic development is one of my very-strong points. We are in an economic boom where I am right now, the commercial development has really taken off. I am working on shopping-center projects, and those would be great for this community; an upscale shopping center, like a lifestyle center, would be wonderful to bring to Kingman ... There are a lot of opportunities.
Clifford Burnett: I am going to bring a lot of energy to the system. I am very level-headed, but I am not afraid to take chances either. I think I am going to bring a lot of energy, and I am a vision-guy, so a lot of vision to the city. I have noticed there is not a lot of advertising about the mission of the City, so I am not sure where it needs to head right now, but I want to be part of that and I think I can get us in the right direction.
Kil was asked one additional question in relation to his alleged removal of political signs in St. John, Indiana.
“Those signs (issues) were an abatement of a zoning violation that was approved with the advice and consent of the town attorney,” Kil said. “The town attorney said ‘yes it is a zoning-ordinance violation and can be removed.’”
He added that there is a signed affidavit from the town’s attorney saying it was a zoning-ordinance violation.
Council began follow-up interviews Tuesday morning and will continue them today.