It appears that the Kingman business community is rising up in support of a town hall, while the City Council remains divided, and at an impasse, on the concept. A 3-3 vote last month by the Council stalled Mayor Monica Gate’s pursuit of use of an Arizona Town Hall to lay foundation for preparation of a long range strategic economic development plan for the City.

Gates was among a handful of public officials who, along with some two dozen members of the private sector, packed into a small hotel conference room for a March 29 brainstorming session.

The group discussion revealed majority support for creating a long range strategic economic development plan. Gates reiterated her view that contracting for an Arizona Town Hall can galvanize the community to build a foundation to address various economic development issues going forward.

“This is not the answer but this is a place to start,” Gates said. She said fear of making a mistake has perpetuated inaction that has literally paralyzed economic development in the greater Kingman area.

Banking executive Dan Del Monaco said local businesses have pledged more than $17,000 to help contract for an Arizona Town Hall.

“It’s not the cure all. It is not the final answer by any stretch, but it’s the first step and that’s what we need to do,” Del Monaco said. He said it remains to be seen whether the private sector would independently contract for a town hall or if the businesses would funnel the funds to the city to do the same.

It was Laron Engineering Chief Operating Officer John Hansen who offered critical perspective of Town Hall involvement. Hansen expressed view that Town Halls frequently have a preconceived agenda, and are structured to reflect that agenda in its final work product.

Hansen noted that he was a voice of dissent during his previous participation in a Town Hall. Hansen expressed frustration that the final work product did not reflect any dissent, though consensus was reflected.