Wednesday, April 23, 2008

City Council Candidates...

Good to see the candidates still out on the trail. Here is an article from the KDM that covers a recent candidate forum.

I didn't attend this event but included in the article is some information on the views the candidates have on the proposed I40 interchanges that have been in the news for the last couple of years.

From the article...

Interchange projects

One question from the audience asked for the candidates' views on the Kingman Crossing and Rattlesnake Wash interchange projects planned at Interstate 40, east of Andy Devine Avenue.

I'm just glad to see this is still an important topic of conversation.

(Candidate Travin) Pennington said he supports both projects, as both would spawn economic development, bring in sales tax revenue and fix some of the traffic issues in town, particularly those on Stockton Hill Road.

Speaking about Vestar Development Co., which plans to build a mall on the north side of Kingman Crossing, Pennington said, "I don't have a fiduciary responsibility to represent any developer in this town. I have a fiduciary responsibility to represent you, the voters of this community."

Mr. Pennington is right about economic development and the traffic issues, and here Kingman could work towards a private/public partnership agreement to address such issues. But that could mean having the city work with the likes of the developer that he mentioned towards a winning position for both the developer and the community.

Sounds like this candidate is a 'community first' kind of guy... that is good.

(Candidate Keith) Walker, who also supports both projects, said the interchanges are inevitable. He noted that the hospital MedCath Corp. is planning at Kingman Crossing North will not move forward until construction begins on the Crossing interchange. Director Gary Jeppson said in January that the Development Services Department would withhold building permits until construction commences.

I hope Mr. Walker is right about the inevitability of both interchanges. I did not know that the new hospital was on hold until there was a solution to the traffic interchange issue. I guess I missed Mr. Jeppson's comments back in January, last I remember the hospital group was saying that their project was a go and didn't need Interstate access.

Mr. Walker is still the only remaining candidate that I am definitely voting for at this time and I think he would help Kingman find a way to find a solution to the interchange issues whether that means leaning on land owners and developers to pony up for part, most, or all of the costs... or simply condition certain city property for highest and best value in order to sell that property to pay for the infrastructure improvements... or something else other than passing a property tax and raising sales taxes.

(Candidate Carole) Young said, "I believe every interchange is important," especially considering the growing congestion on Hualapai Mountain Road. But she added that she would not support the use of city sales tax revenue to help fund the projects.

Two things here, one I admire her consistent stand on funding. I believe she is saying that what is good for one proposed project should be good for the other... and I agree.

The other thing though, is if the city needs to address such things as traffic congestion... if tax money is NOT used to pay for city improvements, who then pays for such things??

(Candidate Craig) Schritter has "no problem with Kingman Crossing on the north side," but, he said, "The city left multiple questions unanswered on the south side." If developers want to build on the north side, "let them," he said.

But what about the infrastructure projects (i.e. traffic interchanges)?? Also, I'm not sure if the city left questions unanswered, instead I think that some people didn't like the answers (oh no, not more traffic on Seneca... type of thing).

Good reading nonetheless.

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