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Thu, Aug. 22

Community View | Our money should be going to help the retired and fixed income folks

Artist Solomon Bassoff of Faducci Studio in North San Juan, California, sits on his Arizona chuckwalla lizard sculpture that was unveiled Friday. It’s part of the City of Kingman’s Art in Public Places program.
Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Artist Solomon Bassoff of Faducci Studio in North San Juan, California, sits on his Arizona chuckwalla lizard sculpture that was unveiled Friday. It’s part of the City of Kingman’s Art in Public Places program.

Gathering at the watering hole has been done as far as I can remember in our history. Back in our rootin’ tootin’ days it was a local saloon or the “church committees,” and the local store was where you could enjoy a pickle from the pickle barrel and hear all the local events.

Today, gatherings take place through our paper, the Daily Miner. The outcome is more diverse and daily events lead to more subjects to talk about than what Aunt Pearl had in the oven that day.

Reading about all the “local happenings” in our community, one struck an interest to me. Reading about UniSource suspending their shut off service for the elderly and those who cannot afford to pay huge bills was something that needed to be addressed.

As we all know, the Arizona heat is nothing to sneeze at. One death was one to many. Being a retirement community, there are those who suffer because of it.

Most who live in Kingman and surrounding areas have this plight in common. Reading that raising property taxes and fees are being considered by our mayor and governing board tells me that these people are looking to expand instead of taking care of those retired and the needy in these communities.

Although expanding our town is a good thing, the retirement communities are being left out of the decision making as far as taxing and paying bonds. It makes me wonder if they expect churches and other nonprofits to do the job they were hired to do, which is to look out for its citizens. Do they not remember that we are a “retirement community?” Thinking back, I remembered that a $175,000 sign and a $10,000 lizard was OK’d and building permits were issued for condos and apartments. And there’s a bond on the table for $35 million going to the voters? Really?

Those who rent these condos and apartments don’t pay for these bonds, homeowners do. Which make it easier for those who rent to vote these bonds in. Since they don’t pay, the burden will fall on those less fortunate.

Some property owners in Kingman are retired and have no children. Why should they pay another bond? Most have been here since the rootin’ tootin’ days and have raised their families, worked hard and have bought their homes to retire in.

Adding another bond, raising taxes and more fees are not an answer for the retirement community. It will put a strain on their golden years and add to their stress. Remember, when they retired the cost of living went up but not their retirement income.

Which brings me to the sign and lizard. I have been through this area and I have yet to see people gathered around these works of art. Although beautiful, no one seems to be interested. I think our governing board should consider their priorities for the people of this city, their retirement communities and those who are on a limited income. A fund of $185,000 for those with limited resources would have been better and would of helped this poor woman who lost her life because of her inability to pay.

I’m aware that there are resources, but this woman couldn’t get to them. UniSource, the gas company, and water departments know who cannot afford these bills. Most are elderly, maybe homebound or retired on limited incomes. Notices are sent but if you can’t pay, how do you let someone know? Especially the homebound.

I commend UniSource. If they only had a system in where they could notify those who could help our elderly who are homebound and retired citizens, maybe this death could have been avoided.

As with all concerns for this community, our governing boards should be the ones to find a solution for these tragedies instead of looking for the next project to raise taxes and add bonds. When you think of it, $35 million could really help our current communities, but does it have to be bonds?

It would be interesting to know if our mayor and governing board are even aware of this issue or maybe, just maybe, they just don’t care.

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