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5/6/2013 6:00:00 AM
Board finally ready to discuss replacing unpopular Mohave County administrator

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - More than seven months after former County Manager Ron Walker left the county, the Board of Supervisors is finally settling down to talk about his replacement.

The Board will discuss the county administrator's duties and the candidate application and interview process at today's meeting.

Choosing a replacement has been controversial because of the reputation the position earned while Walker was working for the county. Both employees and members of the public accused Walker of being rude, abrupt and demanding.

He was certainly adept at burning bridges before his departure.

In January 2012, Walker wrote a scathing letter to Board Chairman Buster Johnson that ridiculed District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson and Hildy Angius. Angius was elected to the District 2 Supervisor seat in November.

In 2010, Walker requested the Board approve policies banning weapons from all county buildings, requiring a dress code for all who attend Board meetings and installing metal detectors at the entrance to the County Administration Building. The Board repealed those policies at the beginning of the year.

In last five months, the Board has reduced the power of the county administrator's office by removing the ability to hire or fire department heads, eliminating the deputy county manager positions, removing a requirement for a special meeting to be held in order to discipline the county administrator, and allowing all county employees to speak with members of the Board without having to go to the county administrator first.

The Board also changed the title of the office from county manager to county administrator to underscore that the final authority over all county business rests with the Board of Supervisors.

The Board will also consider two resolutions designed to increase transparency in county government.

The first would make it a class one misdemeanor for a county employee to knowingly lie to the Board of Supervisors during a meeting.

The second would require all county employees to reveal all possible conflicts of interest they may have with the county on an annual basis.

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

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Oh Ya

"No as in do you really think there is someone in Mohave County that is as bad or worse than Ron Walker? I think not."

Do you actually think they would select anyone from the county? They would first spend a hundred grand on an "expert" to seek out a fool somewhere in the nation as ridiculous as Lil Ronnie walker.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Just Saying

@know better.....RIGHT ON!

all one has to do is watch. We now have a Sup who is a lawyer and acts like an elite and we have a Sup who,she acts like a high priestess. Then we have some old Sups who have no clue as to whats happening, it just keeps on keeping on.

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Article comment by: Knows Better

TY to I'll take a nut......
You are so right on. Just listen to the Board...especially the new Supervisors. I am not sure but I highly doubt that a single one of them has the knowledge or experience to even begin to understand County government. From the discussion at the recent board meeting is is plain that the Board will micromanage from a platform of ignorance to County government they are even practicing crisis management, they are operating on whims. The County Administrator should be the person the execute direction of the Board and not a lackey serving at whim and perceived crisis. Take my advice ladies and gentlemen.....slow down, study, learn and then perform your duties with the rest of staff that makes the team. If you do not you are no better that the gentleman you seek to replace by, as currently demonstrated, your propensity for whim and crisis.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Dave In Golden Valley

Re: it'll take a nut. You are 100% correct. Especially Moss and Hildy will want a kowtowing yes man or woman. They do not want anyone competent or professional. Unless its one of the Bullhead buddies.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

@ Anson's Nephew

Yes and no! Yes, since it's been 7 months without one and the county has survived tells me it can be eliminated. No as in do you really think there is someone in Mohave County that is as bad or worse than Ron Walker? I think not.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Hildy Angius

Just for clarification, we have had an interim County Administrator(s) for the seven months Ron Walker has left. This County needs an Administrator and I am sure ultimately we will hire the best person for that position. Another point of clarification: this Board has no interest in micromanaging. But since we are the ones who are held accountable, I sure want to be in the loop and I want certain people to have to ultimately answer to us as we represent the taxpayers.

As always, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at 928-758-0713.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

There needs to be one person at the top of any administrative pyramid. Call it any title you like. They are ultimately responsible for the performance of those below them.

You can't have 4 or so Department heads reporting to a 5 member Board unless you want mass confusion.

Of course they (and any employee) should be able to talk to the Board members about specific issues...not like it was in the past.

I also agree with the firing/hiring policy. Call it oversight if you like, the Board should be able to review the hiring or firing of senior employees.

I hate to bring this up since the recently departed Ron Walker was a retired Navy officer...but on Navy had Department Heads responsible for their specific areas. They normally reported everyday matters to the XO who carried that to the CO, weeding out the junk. That was his primary function. The CO had ultimate responsibility for all those under him...XO... not always.

Since the board only meets twice a month (I believe), can issues really be put be put off for 2 weeks before a decision is made? Or should we delegate that down the totem pole?

More recently, in my retail experience, a store Manager could fire a low level employee but not an Assistant Manager without going to District (or maybe Corporate?). Since they are the 2nd largest retailer in the world...and it seems to work for them, isn't that a good model?

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Dump the postion and save the county $200,000 a year in pay, benefits and vehicles. Lil Ronnie Walker was a disaster and anyone replacing him would be cut from the same cloth.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: It'll Take a Nut That Wants a Thankless Job

Only a nut would take the position... the new Board of Supervisors has acted as a Micromanagement Committee and less of a Policy Board. The whole concept behind a County Administrator is to hire an individual that the Board empowers with the administrative authority to run the daily business of regional government. That will not be the case for the Mohave County Administrator.

The position will not entail a highly educated, experienced, and seasoned individual using executive leadership and vision to advance the County forward. Rather, the individual will serve as top monkey putting out fires and chasing tails for five people - all with differing opinions that want to micromanage. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Good luck with it!!!

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: gun owner 000

A word of advice to the Supervisors Don't try and fill Walker's shoes with the same junk that was in them. Let's put somebody in that position that has the interests of the County in mind, instead of hiring a bunch of his fishing buddies and costing the County hundreds & thousands of dollars in "perks" and security measures. The best way I've found is not to make so many people angry at you in the first place.

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Seven Months?

Seven months without a county manager. Dose that tell us something? The county has not shut down as a result. Maybe he should not be replaced and save the taxpayers some money.

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