Friday, January 30, 2009

The union of the snake

The title above is in reference to the likely fact that I have been listening to way too much 80's pop music on my iPod lately. However the title of the song has the word snake in it and it also appears as part of a word in a local infrastructure project known as the Rattlesnake Wash interchange.

This morning an article covering the recent city council workshop appears in the website.

Before moving on to post the part of the article I found most interesting, I want to say once again that I am in favor of this future project and hope that five or six years from now it will reach completion. I feel I have to do this because so many folks in the area seem to be either 'for' or 'against' this project or a different proposed interchange project, Kingman Crossing. For years now I have been 'for' both projects. The way I see it, both are equally as important for long range benefits to the community.

Now, from the article...

"This would really be beneficial for the city and the public at large, and it would also put a lot of people to work once this interchange is put into place, once it is constructed," (Kingman Mayor John) Salem said. "At this point, it would be my opinion that perhaps we could go to bond for this or we could come up with some other type of a tax mechanism to earmark some kind of funds for this project."

Emphasis mine above.

On the first part, this notion that jobs will fall from the sky once the interchange is completed rings kind of hollow to me. I've seen this talking point quite a bit in comments at other sites in reference to the benefits of the project. The thing that escapes me though, is how do we know that all these jobs (high paying jobs as many of said) will magically appear (and by that I'm assuming they mean at the industrial center at the airport)?? What folks seem to imply is that here in the early part of 2009, there is a certainty that jobs will show up... in five plus years from now.

Look, I'm all for job creation and hope to see more companies take a chance on Kingman and the labor force, but I hope they do so TODAY. Looking around TODAY and most of us can observe that folks are moving out of the area to find work TODAY. So if the airport authority, other interests, and city officials really believe in the promise that this new road from I40 that will lead to the airport will bring jobs five plus years from now... why not they do something about it TODAY?? If that road is the only thing standing in the way of all these new jobs... why even deal with ADOT or their schedule?? Let someone else play sugar daddy.

As for the second part I emphasized above from the article... really no surprise there. I wrote about what would likely happen back in 2007. While I may have the dates and years off by a bit here and there, I intimated that the movement to defeat the bonds in 2007 was to preserve the bonding capacity for this Rattlesnake Wash project whenever it may be needed in the future. The same folks that were telling the citizens of Kingman that the city shouldn't be planning for an infrastructure project that would help developers and/or landowners (including all of the citizens of Kingman that own 168 acres of Interstate frontage) in another part of town, will now be asking the same citizens of Kingman to aid their development plans and improve their property by funding this infrastructure project. Certainly not shocking, but nonetheless hypocritical.

I'm not going to chide the mayor for any of this. I know he is up against it and has been since he took office. I know he is in favor of improving the economic conditions of this city and would love to do so yesterday. Economic development is a joke in Kingman as it stands right now though, an oxymoron... a contradiction in terms (save for that shop local promotion I suppose). As an aside, come Monday there will be one less place open for business to collect sales tax dollars from in Kingman.

If anything, I'm pleased to see that this project is on the minds of the locals right now. I wish to see it be debated openly and perhaps other solutions to cover costs might be revealed because of it. For now, I'll just look forward to when I'm 42 years old... that is how old I'll be when the interchange at Rattlesnake Wash opens for convenient passage.

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