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2/4/2013 6:01:00 AM
Changes in Mohave County chain of command eyed
Savings seen if supervisors get rid of deputy managers
Former county manager, Ron Walker
Former county manager, Ron Walker

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

Mohave County could save more than $272,417 a year, if the Board of Supervisors decides to eliminate the four deputy county manager positions Monday.

The supervisors will also talk about the search for a new county manager and a change in the county manager's duties.

If the Board approves the elimination of the deputy manager positions:

• The $137,280 annual salary for deputy county manager for Development Services position would be eliminated and the current Development Services manager, Mike Hendrix, would take over as acting county manager.

• As acting county manager, Hendrix would make $144,144 per year. That's an increase from his deputy county manager position but a $26,644 cut in pay from former County Manager Ron Walker's annual salary of $170,788.

• The current Deputy County Manager for Justice Services Dana Hlavac would return to his former position as the county's public defender and have his annual salary drop to $134,992.

• The current public defender would be moved back to his position as a regular defense attorney and the salary for the position would drop by $27,248.

• Deputy County Manager for Health and Community Services Susie Parel-Duranceau would move back to her position as community development manager but her salary would stay the same - $137,280 per year.

• Deputy County Manager for Management Services John Timko's salary would also stay the same because he is under a contract with the county.


The county created the deputy county manager positions during a reorganization of the county's departments in 2009. The reorganization consolidated 17 different county departments into four management teams - Criminal Justice Services, Development Services, Management Services and Health and Community Services - each headed by a deputy county manager who reported directly to the county manager. Each of the four department heads who were chosen to step into the deputy county manager positions received a raise.

Walker touted the reorganization as a way to save the county around $560,000 by eliminating seven unfilled positions and streamlining county offices.

At the time, the Board voted 2 to 1 to approve the reorganization. District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson was the lone dissenting vote.

New manager

The Board will also discuss starting the search for a new county manager. The search will be funded with money from a "county manger position salary savings fund." If the fund is approved by the Board, it will hold the savings from having Hendrix serve as acting county manager at his current salary of more than $137,000 instead of serving at Walker's former salary of more than $170,000, said County Finance Director John Timko. At the end of Hendrix's six-month contract, the fund should hold more than $13,300.

"I doubt we'll use all that money," Timko said. Any remaining money after the search is finished would go to paying the new county manager's salary.

The Board will also approve a contract with Hendrix to serve as acting county manager until a new manager can be found.

According to information provide to the Board, Hendrix's contract will last six months or until a permanent county manager is hired, which ever comes first. The contract can be extended by the Board if necessary.

The contract also states that Hendrix is free to apply for the county manager's position and if he is not chosen he will be offered a position as assistant county manager to help the new county manager.

If Hendrix doesn't take the assistant county manager position, he will be offered his old position and salary as county engineer.

New duties

The Board will also consider revising some of the duties of the county manager. Some of the changes include noting that the county manager "shall" serve at the pleasure of the Board, removing a requirement that the Board call a special meeting in order to take disciplinary acting against the county manager, and removing a section that would penalize the county supervisors or their staff for talking to county employees who work for the county manager.

The Board meets at 9:30 a.m. today at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

ICT - Kingman Honda
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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Article comment by: If you want improvement

You need to hire someone outside the area for the managers job if you want change. If you want fairness you need to hire someone outside the area. Looks like the Kingman and Bullhead area will get everything they want and poor poor Havasu. It is about time.

Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Article comment by: You Don't Say

"You can hire any know nothing's you want for just over minimum wage."

You mean like Ron Walker right?

Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Article comment by: Pay Attention to the Facts

@Scott Farkus you sound much like a government employee. the City Manager of Phoenix just got an $81K raise to $254K and there was a huge stink about that!

The average household income in Mohave County is under $40K. Yet the average County employee makes over $55K! So imagine if you have a couple who works for the county they are making between 75-200K! The are receiving much more than the people who work to pay their inflated salaries.

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

@ Doris:
Please don't try to tell us that Guru Ronnie was a "quality" manager! He's a self absorbed, egotistical, maniacal dictator that enjoyed making the county residents dance to his tune! How on earth can you possibly say he was a "quality" anything?
All Walker would have had to do to keep weapons out of the county building is spend a few dollars on stickers to put on the entrances saying that firearms were prohibited.... It works for banks and other businesses doesn't it? That is unless the intent is to rob them or cause harm in the first place. Any law abiding citizen who carries a weapon would read the warning and put his or her firearm back in their vehicle.... simple and cheap! He didn't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a metal detector and man it with his scary guards, but he chose to because he could!
Maybe what should happen is to hire a manager in whose salary will increase for every year they show improvement to the county instead of giving them all of this money up front with a contract that has no consequences for their actions, bad or good!
Ron Walker knew alot... but he used it to the disadvantage of the county residents. Walker is nothing more than a cheap hood in expensive clothing, that we paid for!
And who says that a professional whose service costs less is inferior to one who costs more? Maybe the person who charges less cares more about the people they serve instead of how much money they make, whatever profession they may be in.

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Doris McAllen

If you want quality managers that actually know something, you have to pay a reasonable salary. You can hire any know nothing's you want for just over minimum wage. Is that what you want? A person layed off from a job with the world's largest corporation? After all he would be cheaper. Mohave County is a muti-million dollar organization with hundreds of employees. You want the leaders of this to be morons? They are cheaper. Doctors get paid a lot for years of training and skills. You want the cheapest doctor treating you? The low bid doctor? The low bid county manager? Or you want a skilled professional with advanced degrees and years of experience. Of course it may be what this board wants is the anti-Walker, cheap and the lapdog for Moss.

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: np .....

@Secret thinking exactly! That photo sort of reminds me of "the cat that ate the canary", although to be more accurate, maybe "the cat that ate the canary, then billed you for security operations to make sure it didn't happen again".

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Scott Farkus

To all the commenters who complain that these people's pay is too much in the grand scheme of things the pay they are receiving is NOT out of line. Maybe to you and me that is a big chunk of money, but I'm sure it is commensurate with their abilities and knowledge. The same position in a large metropolis could easily go for $300,000. Can these public employees do a better job? Sure, but that is not what you are complaining about. Let’s please choose our battles wisely.

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

Get rid of them.
They were nothing but puppets on a string anyway and that string has been cut!

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Dave In Golden Valley

Complete chaos procedurally. Where is the civil county attorney and why is he not giving counsel on procedures and executive session violations! What a mess. Meanwhile the double dipping finance guy doesn't even get talked about. Talk about saving money, Joy!

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Secret Admirer

All I can say is Former county manager, Ron Walker must have a secret admirer at the Miner. Why does all county articles start off with a picture of him?

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Eliminate Manager's position

Does this mean the employees would go back as managers in specific departments? I would eliminate the Managers position and keep the others on as adminstrators reporting to the BOS

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Mohave County Needs a New Manager

Why does the KDM keep showing Ron Walker's picture like he is still County Manager? The man is gone so get over it, move on! Show the new person if there is one!

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Robert Day


Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Valle Vista Living the Good Life

The many faces of Gary Watson, he said he never voted for all the reconstruction that Walker did and now we find out Buster Johnson is the only one who voted against the Walker plan. So that means Gary Watson and Tom Sockwell voted for it. Watson and Sockwell put it in place! Watson never tells the truth! Watson has cost this county hundreds of thousands of dollars and claims he has nothing to do with it. So now he is going to vote to remove all the deputy managers that he with his vote put in place and has caused so much trouble. Watson backed Brotherton so she would be his puppet so he could be chairman because Johnson and Sockwell would never allow him to be chairman because they could not trust him, he never tells the truth.

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Trained observer

Hendrix needs to go. He is one of the good old boys that gives jobs to his fishing buddies. Favoritism has to end at sometime in this county and there is no time like the present if the county managers really want clean government. Otherwise we just have more of the same as under Walker and crew.

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Former Manager

Why does KDM persist in resurrecting this picture of FORMER manager Walker. Have we not seen his face enough for too many years? Can it. Put it in the archives. Don't bring back bad memories.

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

hiring hendrix is hiring "the good ole boy's"
he IS part of the county problem.
We need someone from the outside, with uncorrupted idea's, and not owing anyone a favor ! or being someones "buddy"

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: Can The Positions

Yes, it's a big county. Yes, it has tons of employees. Yes, it requires leadership. However, in today's America it is a cash cow for the top. The manager's position is one of the easiest in the system, if the manager has good subordinates. The department heads are the ones responsible for the results of the people in their department. If the results aren't there, find the reason and correct it. If that means letting people go, so be it. And that means all the way UP the ladder. The problem as I see it, (and let's recognize this county is one of the poorest managed counties in AZ) is no one is held responsible. There is rampant nepotism and cronyism - no one is fired. (When county tries to fire someone, the paperwork is so screwed up and the worker's mistreated in a way that it ends up in court and the county ends up hiring the bozo back. Once bozo is back he/she can do as little as they want since any enforcement is seen as harassment).

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: The Average Joe

Hmmm, I sit here scratching my head. The Salaries quoted seem like we live in a BIG City like Vegas or Pheonix. Why do these County Officials make such large Salaries in Mohave County when the general Public often only makes just above min. wage?? Based on what I've seen these Officials DO NOT have any special talents to warrant the Large Salaries listed.

This along with the other continued frivolous waste of Tax Payers $$$ on the Part of the County Prosecutors Office is shameful. When I budget my own Household Finances I have to be wise & not overspend. Why are the County Officials constantly just spending spending the Communities Money needlessly? There should be more accountability of these Officials to manage the money. If not BOOT them out next time we go out to Vote!!

Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

This story brings out the fact that the people of this county have been defrauded by the past board. If not intentionally then surely through poor management. Probably why Buster was the only vote against this. After all he was a big part of the problem and I'm sure he wouldn't want to admit that. What makes these jobs worth what they are being paid. I think the public would like to know why the people who run their city make 4 to 5 times what a well paid local worker makes. Is their job really that hard to do. The rightwing which this paper is clearly a voice for are constantly calling it class warfare any time the raising of taxes is discussed as a solution of some of our problems. These same people have no problem over paying the people they hire to do there jobs for them. Either the working people of Kingman need to have their pay rate decided by the same people who have overpaid these county workers or they need to get real about what they should be paying for these jobs.

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