Dear Editor,

As a concerned citizen of Kingman, I try to keep up with current issues and local news through newspapers, social media, and word of mouth. Kingman is growing and that growth comes with needed change. Change can be viewed from many perspectives and as one of you, I see change like the man on the street sees it. I see that a fast-growing number of residents are respectfully upset about community issues like road improvement and maintenance; rising taxes; population density; rezoning; infrastructure and the list goes on. So, what does a concerned citizen of Kingman do? They go directly to Kingman City Council meetings to voice their concerns as I have been doing. I highly recommend any citizen with a respectful concern attend City Council meetings. Having said that, the gears of jurisprudence often get jammed with the formality and rigidity of the parliamentary Robert’s Rules of Order. Simply said our City Council usually cannot speak or vote on things the city does not put on the agenda. Attendance at council meetings is traditionally low for the average resident but even with the subliminal current of dissatisfaction not enough people attend.

I have given all of this some serious contemplation and I am making a suggestion. How about calling for a Kingman Town Hall Meeting? Town hall meetings are a way for local politicians to meet their constituents either to hear from them on topics of concern or be locos for open communication, protest, and even debate.

Town hall meetings have been practiced in the U.S. since at least the late 19th century. Historically, no specific rules or guidelines have defined town hall meetings, hence the average citizen may speak up directly to the governing body and they are expected to reply. In addition, literature and informational data can be shared. Communication is only inhibited by irreverent disrespect by anyone in attendance. Town Hall meetings require a location that can accommodate many people and utilize a moderator and of course security so everyone feels safe and open to real-life person-to-person interaction. These meetings accommodate a free resonance of the voice of the people.

Some years back we could say that Kingman was not mainstream America but “change” now has a newfound momentum and as Newton’s Law suggests “each and every force has an equal and opposing reaction.” In more common lingo a townhall meeting is where the rubber hits the highway.

Elliot Chalew

Candidate for Kingman City Council