Members of Kingman’s business community are organizing a campaign to recall Kingman City Council member Travis Lingenfelter. The group is working to develop its platform in seeking Lingenfelter’s ouster from office, but it is clear that the impetus is rooted in Lingenfelter’s ongoing battle with the Kingman Airport Authority (KAA) on asset management matters, and with Mayor Monica Gates over economic development approaches.
Kristi Turman has assumed a lead role in the recall that can’t begin until May 8, when Lingenfelter has served his first six months in office.
“I am a former EDMC chair, I have lived in the community for 17 years. I’ve been active and involved in a number of events to promote our community and I feel, just as a concerned citizen, and voter that the direction Travis is taking us is so far out of bounds that he just needs to be removed so that the city can have an opportunity to recover and move forward in a positive light because he is certainly very negative,” Turman said. “I feel that with his brand of negativity that he is not going to be effective in helping grow our community in the way that many of us as business folks feel, and we’d like to maybe give someone else an opportunity to do it better.”
Turman said she and other recall supporters had high hopes when Lingenfelter was first elected, but that they’ve grown disenchanted and now believe that he is dividing the community and holding back its progress. She said Lingenfelter has unfairly distorted Airport Authority issues and attacked members of the business community.
Turman said she expects Lingenfelter will claim that the Airport Authority is orchestrating the recall, and she said that’s not the case.
“I’ve been in contact with many people in the business community that have no connection to the Airport Authority (who support the recall). Undoubtedly, there are folks that have connections to the Airport Authority that feel the same way.”
Turman said Lingenfelter can do everyone a favor by resigning.
“That would be great. That’s the goal. It’s going to be expensive for a recall to occur. We’d love to save the city money,” she said. “Either way, whether it’s through recall or through him stepping down with the realization that the community is not going to stand for his negativity and his improper representation of the city. We would like that (resignation) to occur.”
Should the recall be formally initiated, proponents would have 120 days to gather the 418 valid signatures that would be necessary to qualify the question for the ballot.
Travis Lingenfelter was sent an email and a text inviting him to call to conduct a telephone interview concerning the recall movement. He instead responded in a lengthy text. That text, copied verbatim, is provided here:
This nastiness by a small minority group which are loyal to the Kingman Airport Authority and protecting their own interests, represents nothing but bullying tactics being used to stifle the right of free speech and political dissent, rather than to protect it, as a majority of Kingman’s citizens take pride in protecting.
I am sorry if they don’t like what I have to say on the important issues, but disagreement is simply the exchange of ideas by thinking individuals and a thinking society towards the most beneficial and positive outcomes.
I hope that all of those who voted for me in Kingman are sufficiently offended by this group’s efforts to unethically use government power to muzzle differing political opinions aimed at positive advancement. I hold no animosity toward anyone, and I have no personal agenda against anyone.
I have lived in Kingman all of my life and I am passionate about seeing my hometown prosper. And yet, this small group is determined by any means necessary, to do whatever it takes, to shoot me down and silence political views that differ from their own narrow political views. Including spreading lies, misinformation, and rumors. And encouraging deplorable mudslinging and nasty personal attacks. All because I have a backbone, I ask intelligent yet tough questions, and I will not cave to this minority group’s narrow and self-serving political agenda.
Majority opinions that are shared by the majority of Kingman’s citizens on the subjects of the Kingman Airport Authority and economic development closely mirror my own. We demand positive advancement.
This ridicule of my advocacy for the citizens of Kingman who voted for me, reflects badly on them, not their target. This is an orchestrated diversion to attempt to get their people to focus their attention away from the real work of bringing the necessary advancements to the Kingman Airport Industrial Park, and pushing for things to help the City of Kingman grow.
I am confident that the majority of Kingman’s citizens and voters absolutely will not tolerate this hate baiting, and it will hurt this group next year during the 2018 election.