Okay, this will be a bit controversial. However, it is not my intent to cause upset.
The following is a letter I submitted to the Kingman Daily Miner in response to a collision of ideas about the course of direction being followed in the Kingman historic district. In a nut shell, we have investors purchasing buildings and initiating restoration. We also have international visitors discovering the charms of the district, including Beale Street one block north of Route 66, new restaurants and shops opening, and even an event center that is about to open.
At the same time there is a push to open a soup kitchen and recreation center for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder in the very center of this redevelopment. Meanwhile, the city is worried about revenue and the possibility of having to trim expenses.
Both of these services are needed in the community and both are an important part of or social obligation. However, there is a need to ask if this is the best possible location.
Here is my letter to the editor. Feel free to share your thoughts here or with the Kingman Daily Miner. However, if you do feel led to contribute to the discussion please do so with respect.
1308 Stockton Hill Rd.
Suite A, PMB 228
Kingman, AZ 86401-5190
July 25, 2013
To the Editor:
International investors see value in the Kingman historic district as evidenced by recent purchases and ongoing renovations. A number of local business owners see value in the historic district as evidenced by their investment and hard work. An incredible number of international travelers see value in the historic district as evidenced by their postings on social media sites, websites, and blogs, and in tour company promotional material.
This perceived value is not entirely monetary. If a community is a destination for visitors, it is a destination for families, for business owners, and for those who are looking for that special place to spend the golden years. It is also a place where the citizens enjoy an improved quality of life, a sense of community, and a sense of pride.
With this in mind may I ask why we find it necessary to ensure the historic district remains a blighted point of contention with the establishment of soup kitchens and similar projects? From this perspective may I respectively ask where is the leadership that inspires a sense of community, and imparts a vision for the future?
We have a moral responsibility to care for the poor, the needy and the veteran. However, is the historic heart of the city that is on the cusp of rebirth the best place for services that fill this need?
On numerous occasions in recent years we have witnessed discussions pertaining to city revenue concerns. Why then would we apathetically allow the stifling of investment, of business creation, and subsequently, job creation?
Tourism may be a very fickle foundation to support an economy but with the international popularity of Route 66, it can be an incredible catalyst for transformation and development. It has worked miracles in Atlanta, Illinois, Galena, Kansas, and Cuba, Missouri so why not Kingman?