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Fans of tax hikes absent at GOP forum for supervisors


County can live within its means, GOP supervisor candidates say

KINGMAN - To nobody's surprise, not one of the seven candidates for Mohave County District 4 Supervisor vetted at Wednesday's Mohave Republican Forum was in favor of raising taxes to pay for services in the rural areas they would represent.

No, no and absolutely not. Those were the unequivocal answers given by Jean Bishop, Bob Boyd, Al DiCicco, Bill Keller, Travis Lingenfelter, Jack Pozenel and Ted Roper.

Three other candidates running for District 4 Supervisor - Curtis Cutshaw, Jack Ehrhardt and Theodore Brinkofski - did not attend the forum that drew a standing-room-only crowd of about 75 people at the Golden Corral restaurant.

None of the candidates garnered the two-thirds vote needed for endorsement by Mohave Republican Forum.

They're vying to replace Supervisor Joy Brotherton, who died in May with two years remaining on her term. The primary election is Aug. 26.

District 4 represents parts of west Kingman, Golden Valley, Chloride, Oatman, Dolan Springs, Meadview and White Hills.

After giving a brief history of their education, work experience and community activities, candidates answered a number of questions ranging from taxes and infrastructure funding to economic development and their stance on public land acquisition.

Here's what they had to say:

Taxes

Boyd: "Government needs to spend within its means and spend less than it gets. Government exists for you, not for government. It's time we get involved and that's why I'm running."

Bishop: "The answer is not raising taxes. Life's not easy and government has always been challenged. I will be aware of your tax dollars and spend wisely."

DiCicco: "We need to learn to live within our means. I'd like to eliminate property taxes, all taxes for that matter."

Keller: "If the supervisor goes to work to bring industry here, taxes will go down. If you bring industry in, they start paying taxes and people that go to work there pay taxes."

Roper: "If we get more industry, we get more jobs. We need to take advantage of our natural resources."

Pozenel: "Set a budget and live within that budget. That's what a conservative does."

Infrastructure

Lingenfelter: "I would work with the administration to do an inventory of infrastructure and find out what infrastructure is in the worst shape and come up with a plan to use the dollars we do have for the poorest infrastructure."

Boyd: "Our money for roads was swept by us and shoved into the public works building. That was one of the most ridiculous things done in Mohave County. I actually bid on a retrofit of the buildings across the street. Those buildings worked for years. We could have done asbestos abatement for $800,000 and put the rest of the money into the streets."

Pozenel: "Kingman has different needs than Golden Valley. There are unique needs and the supervisor needs to learn what those needs are. Make sure District 4 dollars are spent in District 4."

Roper: "The HURF (Highway User Revenue Funds) system is broken. We're paying the same tax on a gallon of gas as it was 10 years ago. We need to get the new governor on board to fix the HURF system and get the money to Mohave County."

Bishop: "I would assign a manager to get with the roads manager and get a study on what needs to be done. I'd like to see some of the mothballed buildings refurbished and sold and put that money back into the general fund."

Economic development

Pozenel: "We need industry that brings higher paying jobs, not $8-an-hour jobs. We need $15 and $20 an hour. When people don't have expendable income, small business goes away."

Boyd: "Any economic incentive that can be put through statute, I would be open to 100 percent. Business brings in revenue and employment."

DiCicco: "Some people don't want industry. There has to be a balance. We don't want to turn into Las Vegas or Henderson."

Lingenfelter: "We don't want to be another California. I want to keep business taxes low. We need to focus on a new base of industries that are sustainable, that are low water users and pay a decent wage."

Keller: "I misspoke earlier. I don't mean tax businesses. When you bring in business, it takes care of itself."

Public land

Keller: "We want to take the land. It's our land. We're not getting any taxes on it."

Bishop: "Yes and no. Yes, take public land that can make money for Arizona. If we're just taking that vacant land with no way to pay for services, no."



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