Budget workshop slated for January 8


The gavel has passed and newly-elected officials have replaced those who have exited office for the City of Kingman. Former Mayor Monica Gates and former Council members Stuart Yocum and Vickie Kress expressed thanks for their opportunity to engage in public service and they wished their successors well during a ceremonial meeting Tuesday.

New Mayor Jen Miles and new council members SueAnn Mello Keener, Deana Nelson and Ken Watkins expressed a mix of gratitude, optimism and trepidation after they were issued their oaths of office.

“I’m excited. I’m terrified and all of those things rolled into one,” Nelson said. “I look forward to moving Kingman forward.”

The newly constituted council, by a 4-3 vote, chose Council member Travis Lingenfelter over Nelson as Vice Mayor.

Lingenfelter had been abnormally quiet following voter approval last month of the sales tax proposition he worked so hard to defeat. He broke that semblance of silence delivering a prepared statement following his elevation to Vice Mayor.

“It has been a long, drawn-out year as our community of Kingman has debated the question of how do we want to fund city pavement preservation and general funded parks, public safety and transportation projects that are contained on the city’s adopted 5-year community improvements plan. There were strong opinions on both sides of the Prop. 413 question,” Lingenfelter said, noting the will of the voters should be respected.

“The past negativity must be left in the past and tonight we must turn this page to a new chapter of community collaboration. We must work together to solve Kingman’s long-standing infrastructure deficit puzzle while doing what we can to increase livability for residents, tourists and visitors.”

Planned construction of a new fire station on Andy Devine Ave. is the first casualty of passage of Prop. 413, the repeal of a one-cent sales tax increase and the loss of more than $9-million in annual funding.

“The bucket of money shrinks,” said City Manager Ron Foggin. He and Finance Director Tina Moline told council members staff recommended shelving the project despite favorable interest rates offered by lending institutions.

Moline said projects and priorities should be re-evaluated before committing to 15 years of annual payments of $416,000. Council approved mothballing the fire station project in a 6-1 vote with Nelson dissenting.

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