For review this was brought up by the KDM editor in his op/ed piece that ran yesterday. The following were some of the questions I will attempt to answer.
What are they looking to gain? How will they personally benefit if elected? Why would they allow themselves to be scrutinized and dissected in public?
Because these were represented as serious questions, I'll have to answer seriously... although there is potential comedic material that came to mind when I first read the questions.
What am I looking to gain by seeking public office?? Honestly, until I saw this question I hadn't thought of it before. I've felt from the beginning that I only want to represent the community. In fact I went to a handful of people that I thought would be ideal community representatives and asked them if they thought they'd be willing to run. I won't share those names, but they know who they are... and none of them was willing to run for city office this time around for many different and personal reasons... all of which I respect and understand. If any of those folks would have run, I most likely would not have run... but I would have supported and helped them in their efforts. It ended up being my name at the end of my own list of people I thought the community would 'benefit' by having the representation of. I filed the necessary paperwork and began the campaign.
One thing that I have 'gained' so far has been the opportunity to speak to many residents of Kingman to tell them how I see the issues and their importance at this time. Many solutions can be achieved when included community voices are being considered. I believe in the concept of collaboration and feel it is vital to get our community through these somewhat trying times. I've 'gained' the opportunity to say the things that are on my mind and have found many kind residents of Kingman that happen to agree with me... and I look forward to represent them if I am elected.
If elected, I look to gain the knowledge, experience, and trust of the community from day one in order to collect political expediency needed to hopefully bring more opportunities to Kingman. Not opportunities for me or my business, but opportunities for anyone who has the will to make good on said opportunities. I've already shown that I'm willing to sacrifice my time and effort on behalf of others and it would be a great honor to do so for the greater community.
How will I personally benefit if elected?? I wish I had a better answer for this question, but my answer here is the fact that I really don't know. The pay is nominal (I think six grand a year), there are many meetings -- public or otherwise -- that would take away from my business and personal life, there will likely be plenty of reading and research on the issues that I'd be charged with offering my decision on, and many other realities that appear to me to be more on the 'sacrifice' list rather than the 'benefit' list. I've never held public office (city council) before and all I have to go on is what I've seen with current and past council's (and it appears the job comes with threats of recall, demands to resign, a guarantee that a decision made will anger a portion of the community, and ridicule in the media).
I guess I'm an idealist to some degree. I'm certainly not an expert in all things political, but I have listened to many over the years that 'wished' or 'hoped' that politicians would (for the most part) would be real representatives of the community and not folks out to line their pockets. I do realize that successful politicians sometimes have the knack to sway public opinion and the results give the appearance of favoritism to certain groups or individuals... and sometimes we see that the politician ends up 'benefiting' because of it... and usually people add an adjective before the word politician, like scumbag or dirt-bag or some other kind of 'bag' that is not all that flattering. (I know, it sounds like fun, and you want to know where to sign up...)
Before any votes were cast for me (remember, early voting has started), I have been accused of being very friendly with a certain out of town developer who is still 'efforting' to jump through all the hoops necessary to produce a new master planned development where houses and other property might eventually be sold... often with an employed real estate agent representing one or both parties to the transaction. If that development ever gets off the ground, and has success... because of the faulty rumors and allegations made, I've already come to the realization that -- if elected -- I will not be able to represent clients (especially the seller) in transactions for new homes in the new development. Certainly not while I hold office... and probably for many years after I leave office. This is how I see it anyway (I could be wrong)... all because of a rumor that has been repeated many times over many months in many different fashions... and what's more -- the development is not even IN Kingman.
As you can tell -- I'm not thinking about my own personal benefits of serving public office, but I am thinking seriously how to avoid the slightest bit of appearance of impropriety... even as it means less opportunity for my own business.
The time is now for a community conscious leader to be elected to serve the people of Kingman and I believe I am that person. That is the benefit.
Why would I allow myself to be scrutinized and dissected in public?? I hope the dissected part is figurative, the scrutiny I can handle in the literal sense. Simply, the way I see it the answer to the editor's question just comes with the office. I'm not going to fight it, I can only hope to embrace it.
There are twelve candidates running for four seats for city office... I can't speak for the other eleven but I do get the feeling that each one is willing to make some sacrifices to serve the community. The community needs to be thought of first like no other time I can think of since I've lived here. Hopefully the candidate of your choice is someone that can hold that standard. I know I can and that is why I say 'Community First' on the campaign trail.
My hidden agenda(s) will be revealed next time.