Thursday, July 03, 2008

Got my scissors... out

Yep, once again, it is that time again. Time for those scissors to get some use in response to something I saw posted online. This occasion comes from a post from the Mayor's blog regarding the subject matter that I pointed to yesterday.

A reminder... I'm not writing the following as a personal attack against the author or anyone else. I'm merely exercising my right to perhaps disagree a little.

The victim here... is actually a person that occasionally joins the discussion here at MOCO. This person is someone that I think is friendly and means well and I have no ax to grind with him on anything.

Here goes...

Posted: Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Article comment by: Loyd

Here we go again.

When I read the words 'here we go again' I hear Chuck D's voice in Public Enemy's song called 'Bring the Noise' and now that tune will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day.

But yes Loyd, here we go again...

Les Byram and the prior council sent a very clear message to the V & V group that they should make their presentations and proposals at "PUBLIC" meetings where Kingman residents could field questions and bring clarity and understanding to this project.

The V & V group is code for the development company named Vestar and the private property ownership group Vanderbilt Farms.

The funny thing here is... the V & V group has held many public meetings and have presented much of what they plan to develop. As far as the 'proposals' are concerned... a very large public outcry shouted the V & V group down all last summer. The land owners and developers could have promised to pave all the roads in Kingman gold for free last year and they still would have been met with loud opposition.

Let us not forget that last summer it was all the rage to be against any new project that involved Kingman Crossing. We had the email controversy, we had the community group RAID speaking out against conditioning the Kingman resident owned property for highest and best use, and we had others trying to have us believe that the V & V group was out to steal all of our sales tax dollars. Man... those were goooood times.

It is indeed interesting that they sat back and waited until a "New Council" was seated and then again came to the city hall back door with another of their "Presentations".

Funny... I see it as 'Old Council' washed their hands of the mess once the special election last November was over and as many in the community told us that the elections result was an indicator that 'Old Council' was nothing more than a 'lame duck'. 'Old Council' must have agreed as not one city official up for possible re-election bothered to, while an unprecedented amount of citizens actually did pull in the required petition signatures to run for those positions.

I'm not surprised one bit that the V & V group wanted to meet with the new mayor and council as it was more than obvious they weren't getting anywhere with the 'Old Council'.

Not speaking for R.A.I.D., but they should be more than happy to sponsor one of their "Town Hall Meetings" to address the Kingman Crossing issue.

I wouldn't mind seeing such a town hall event like that myself... but I don't think it should be a requirement in any way shape or form. IF there is a proposal made (someday), each member of RAID will get his or her chance to speak in public and lend their support or criticism to such a proposal. The key to all of this is to allow an actual proposal to reveal itself... not something that was allowed at all last year.

To bring Kingman Crossing into reality is probably going to require the participation of all concerned – V & V, the city, property owners in the interchange vicinity and probably the voters and residents of Kingman. If V & V chooses to exclude any stakeholder from the process, then a result similar to history's recent lesson will likely just be replayed.

(emphasis mine)

Well since it is a FACT that ALL citizens of Kingman are property owners of a nice parcel of land in the interchange vicinity... and any agreement the city is pondering is up for public debate... I can't see how ANY stakeholder in the area is going to be excluded.

As far as the recent history lesson is concerned... I doubt it ever gets replayed. Amazing what one bad year on the economy makes. Think about it. Some of the very folks that spoke out against Kingman Crossing last year are publicly stating that they are FOR more than one interchange because those public infrastructure projects equal growth, growth equals opportunity, opportunity equals cold hard cash. There simply aren't as many people willing to side with the 'save the sacred street of Seneca' folks any longer.

One more year of having to deal with traffic on Stockton Hill. One more year of having to go many miles out of the way to get to a place one could throw a rock at and hit before departing. One more year of expensive gas prices. One more year of jobs leaving the area. One more year of young people leaving the community for opportunities elsewhere.

Yep... there was a history lesson in there last year... but I don't think it really was what Loyd thinks it is.

C'mon Mr. Mayor – let's get it all out on the table and into the light. Lead – don't be a peddler - you are after all, the Mayor, not an ambassador. Invite, if you must, but have them come to the public input table, not the city hall back door.

Loyd WAS right 'cause here we do go again. Give me a break with the 'back door' gobbly-goo. The mayor blogged about the meeting with the V & V group for Pete's sake. If any person had ANY issue concerning the city... one of the first places they should feel welcome at is the mayor's office. The mayor has been elected by the voters of this city to represent the people of this city. No better place to start.

Now that we are asking the city to treat everyone equally... then we should treat everyone equally. If Loyd has an issue, I bet he heads to see the mayor... and what do you know... I'd do the same thing. It shouldn't surprise anyone that when the V & V group has an issue that they, too, go see the mayor.

There is no 'back door' to the mayor's office. Not when Mr. Byrum held the office and not with Mr. Salem at the helm (and I didn't vote for either but I still totally can respect the job that both did/do).

I don't see the harm in allowing ANY one person or interested party to begin discussions with the very people that us voters in Kingman elected. In fact it is what I expect the mayor and other elected officials to exactly do.

Read the infamous emails again, I dare you. Find where there was any proof of a true 'back door' deal in place for the Kingman Crossing project. You won't find it.

The city tried to change a land use designation on the resident owned property and the elected leaders passed it with the required votes needed AT A PUBLIC MEETING. Then some citizens didn't like it and put the issue on the ballot for a special election and the PUBLIC VOTED. The city council asked the voters for persmission to possibly sell Kingmans best asset, and the VOTING PUBLIC turned the request down.

There was a email conversation about a stupid idea that wondered if the city could 'blight' the resident owned property... but a city employee had stated in a responding email that the city council would have to make that declaration and last time I checked city council meets to discuss issues IN PUBLIC. That one never even made it to a meeting... because it was an idiotic suggestion in the first place.

I think we all remember the bit about the V & V group wanting to 'freeze' out any other commercial development on the Kingman resident owned 168 acres across the Interstate from their property. Remember the stir that caused?? How ironic then that it would be the voters of Kingman that fundamentally 'froze' out the resident owned property when they voted to not allow the city council to sell any part of the property. Since that day I haven't seen or heard one city council member (past or present) suggest selling any part of that land. It is, for all intents and purposes, 'frozen'.

The good news is that all major parties to this 'back door' paranoia are no longer under the employ of the fine citizens that live in the city of Kingman. It is more than time for the process to begin again. It begins at the city complex no matter how you slice it. It certainly doesn't start at a Rotary Club meeting or for that matter a RAID meeting.

They need to sell us - we don't have to sell Kingman - it's already one of the best.

They need the opportunity to sell us, something they never got last year. Never - never - never. As a citizen of Kingman myself, I'd love nothing more than to see, hear, read a proposal that would ultimatley mean an improvement in public infrastrucure, more sales tax opportunity, more retail and commercial space aligned off the Interstate, job opportunity, and community enhancement.

Who is going to get in the way this time when all of the above is now a clear need??

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