Dear Editor,

Does anyone remember the mid-1970s TV Game show named Family Feud? Two family teams were asked a question and the team that came closest to the popular survey vote won the game as celebrity host Steve Harvey blurted out “Survey Says”!

The same game is taking place in the little town of Kingman, AZ today. I stand to applaud the entire City Council for their efforts at keeping the Kingman people informed, although knowing “they could do better”.

The City did try when it recently conducted an online survey. Less than 200 people out of our City population of 35 thousand took the survey. Those taking the survey represent about 1.1 percent or less of Kingman’s population. That 1.1% did identify the same list of concerns that you “the public, the man on the street” have shared with me as candidate for Kingman City Council. I know this as my outreach to YOU, the Kingman resident, I have confirmed contact with more than 10% of Kingman’s people by virtue of social media, word of mouth, and newsprint.

It seems there is little disagreement about the pending issues and those we are already facing in Kingman. The manner in which our City government “prioritizes and processes” is where we can do a better job by listening more directly to the concerns of the Kingman people. My 10% “Survey Says”, we must focus on our basic infrastructure to support “Controlled, Responsible and Proportionate Growth”. Including issues such as affordable housing; keeping the “Homeless” off the street; no water surcharges or mandatory conservation (I was fearful of that coming); keeping local county and city control; more medical providers; enhanced shopping; improved roads or even a 25-foot waving Cowboy. The City Council is weighing in NOW on WHEN to raise our water rates. They seem to favor a pay-later deferral plan to help the ratepayer now. That shows the Kingman City Council cares, but is that wise to “pay-the-piper” later when it may cost more or come with stipulations?

As the first confirmed candidate for the upcoming Kingman City Council elections, I am putting my cards on the table to begin to address the positive things we can do to move more quickly to address our future. The City of Kingman has denied my formal request to place the idea of a real Town Hall Meeting on the official City Council Meeting Agenda. In Kingman, agenda items must be approved by written request to the Mayor and or City Manager. Our City Managers are coming and going faster than the railroad traffic into Kingman Station and City Managers do not usually buck their boss, the Mayor. I just wonder why is it we elect 7 members to the City Council, but only one elected person decides what is an “official” topic. As a Kingman City Councilman, I would share the effort to have decorum and balanced control within the Kingman City Council. At the same time, I recognize the importance of free speech exchange between “the people” and Kingman City Council and will continue to fight to make that happen through:

• An Amendment to City Council Procedures that provides for a full council vote on proposed agenda items, and

• a Kingman City Townhall Meeting be scheduled and advertised.

The city cites low attendance and a lack of participation as reasons to deny putting the topic on the agenda. Yet there is no real history of town hall meetings in Kingman aside from a Mohave Community College extension class experiment in the last decade.

I may not be Steve Harvey on Family Feud but my Survey Says, we can do better.

Elliot Chalew