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11/15/2011 6:00:00 AM
Candidate questions propriety of county lease in Kingman
Ownership of library district annex space eyed
Butch Meriwether/CourtesyHildy Angius, a candidate for the District II county supervisor seat, questions the County Board of Supervisors about a lease agreement for the County Library Annex in Kingman. Angius said three county employees were among the owners of the property.
Butch Meriwether/Courtesy

Hildy Angius, a candidate for the District II county supervisor seat, questions the County Board of Supervisors about a lease agreement for the County Library Annex in Kingman. Angius said three county employees were among the owners of the property.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

Correction: Tuesday's Miner story "Candidate questions propriety of lease," incorrectly identified an employee from the County Health Department as one of the owners of the office the county leases for Mohave County Library Annex. Tamera Ross, one of the owners of the building, does not work for the county.

KINGMAN - The Board of Supervisors tabled the renewal of a lease agreement for the Mohave County Library Annex in Kingman Monday after questions were raised about who owns the building.

The building is located on East Gordon Drive and is owned by ORB Investments. The county is renting out a more than 2,000-square-foot office in the building for more than $2,000 a month.

A review of the county website's Mohave County Building Inventory did not include the office space. However, it appears the inventory has not been updated for some time.

Mohave County Supervisor candidate Hildy Angius pointed out that several members of ORB Investments are county employees.

According to the Arizona Corporation Commission, three couples - Beverly and Robert Brooks, Yvonne and Kevin Orr and Tamara and Taylor Ross - own ORB Investments.

Beverly Brooks is an administrative assistant in the County Attorney's Office, Yvonne Orr is an assistant to County Manager Ron Walker and Tamara Ross works in the County Health Department.

"I'm not here to embarrass these women," Angius said. "I just want to know if it is county policy that allows the county manager to enter into a lease contract which would benefit not only certain county employees but his direct employee."

When she found out who owned the building and their connections to the county, she drove to Kingman to look at it. There's no sign on the building or the door to let the public know the office is there, and it appears to contain one 800-square-foot office. The only thing that would tip the public off to the fact that the county leases the space was a county vehicle parked out front, she said.

"Why spend all that money on an office for one person when there are other county offices that can be used?" she asked.

The renewal calls for a one-year, $1,920 a month lease starting in February. The county would have the option to renew it for another three years at the end of January 2013 with a 3 percent increase in rent each year.

According to Board of Supervisors meeting minutes, the Board first leased the space in 2007 for $2,160 per month. The lease was renewed in 2008 for $2,225 per month.

A check of commercial listings for the building shows there are two spaces available for rent, one is around 2,400-square-feet and is renting for $1,920 a month.

"This is unethical, improper and it stinks," Angius said. She asked the Board to reconsider the lease.

Board Chairman Buster Johnson said County Manager Ron Walker did not have anything to do with the County Library District Board, so he would have no control over the contract.

Walker pointed out that as county manager he didn't sign contracts for the district.

Angius said she talked with a member of the Library Board of Directors, which includes the three supervisors, and the person was unaware that the library had an annex.

Julie Huelsbeck, an assistant library director, said the office is used to house the community library staff. The community library staff takes care of the bookmobile and the libraries that are located in the more rural areas of the county. There is no room in the Kingman library to house the staff, she said.

Watson pointed out that the office was much larger than it looked and the lease included use of the parking lot for the county bookmobile.

"As far as the ownership, I guess that anyone who does business with Mohave County should go home and do something not related to Mohave County," Supervisor Gary Watson said.

He made a motion to table the item and ask the owners for a further reduction in the rent.

Johnson pointed out that the owners had already reduced the rent from the last contract. Watson said it wouldn't hurt to ask them again. The item was tabled.

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Related Stories:
• Kingman library annex lease on agenda
• Pair cleared of wrongdoing in library annex lease
• Outrage over County Manager's 'poison pen letter'

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 21, 2011
Article comment by: Elmer Whittaker

@ Al DiCicco

Candidates who censor their own facebook pages are pretty bad news, especially those who claim to the constitutional candidates. It is without a doubt a glance into the future of such candidates if they are elected.

I think corruption before the elections must necessarily result in corruption after the elections.

Unfortunately, Hildy is not alone with her practices. Fellow candidate Rick Sherwood is pretty big on stifling free speech, censoring and removing people from his group. Democrats however do not fare any better though.

Let’s face it though, it is the people, the voters who enable this dishonesty and corruption. No matter how much some politicians lie and steal, the voters keep giving them their votes, instead of making a stand and letting them know that lies and corruption will not be tolerated.

Isn’t it ironic how Hildy seeks to collect brownie points by exposing others corruption, but then being so ready to manipulate her facebook and stifle free speech as soon as it becomes inconvenient.

“I Am Not Afraid”

Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Article comment by: Truth Balance And Order

I would not put it past the people attacking Hildy Angius to be supporters of Tom Sockwell, the county employees who benefited with the five year lease with the county, other principals of ORB Investments or friends of the aforentioned. Maybe "No Name Provided" should take it upon himself or herself to do the research instead of questioning how Hildy Angius came about of the information.

Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Article comment by: No name provided

I think this Hildy deserves criticism as well. If she is running for Supervisor you have to base your public comments on more that simply peaking into a window and doing a Corporation Commission search. It doesn't sound as though she made any time to go down and request to review the actual file in question at the County's Procurement Department. If she had she would have learned exactly how the process was conducted and would have been able to speak with Procurement staff to ask any questions she may have.

This is what an intelligent person would do to get informed. Instead, this Hildy chose to speak irresponsibly at a public forum because she thought her uniform railings would gain her political points. That is not someone I want representing me or my family. I want someone that is going to go and do some real research and fact finding prior to kicking sand in the face of the regional public library system.

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011
Article comment by: The Watcher

@ FALSE STATEMENTS? - It’s incredible that you attack the messenger, in this case Hildy Angius, instead of going after the individuals who perpetrated the lease between a couple of county employees. You do not seemed concerned there may be fraud, abuse and favoritism within the county about the lease of private buildings, but you are up at arms about someone who took the time to bring it to the attention to everyone. Shame on you or the person, if that is the case, for putting you up to attempting to take the focus away from the leasing of building space for almost five years when it wasn’t really needed.

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

I don’t know about others, but I personally would like to see an up-to-date list of all properties being leased by the county, the address of the building, size of the leased facility and who owns the property leased to the county.
I understand many people are upset because the county is leasing a building space when there is adequate empty space available in county-owned buildings.
Maybe if the county officials are up front and honest about the leased building spaces, then the residents will not be so upset about what is allegedly occurring in regard to leasing buildings and then the residents wouldn’t think there was a cover up going on in regard to wasting taxpayer revenues.
And of course if there isn't anything to hide, it would be a great gesture on county officials’ part if they did provide and make the information public and to the various media outlets without someone having to do a Freedom Of Information request.

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Article comment by: FALSE STATEMENTS?

This looks to me like a publicity stunt which worked very well for this republican. Too bad she didn't get her facts in order before making the accusation. If she cant beat Tom Sockwell without making false proclamations concerning good people then she's in real trouble.

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Article comment by: Don downwinder JUSTATHOUGHT

Is it windy in that room?

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: No Name

@ Fredrick Williams

The country gone downhill since Reagan? Actually he turned around our entire country's economy BY cutting taxes. And hmmmm. the raising of taxes that the democrats are doing, no name necessary, has really boosted our economy hasn't it? NOT. Know what your talking about before you post something ignorant.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Thanks For clarifing

Thanks for pointing out the geography. Obviously this Boyd guy doesn't understand his own district well enough to know where the library is servicing. Bullhead is central to the Eastern area of district 4. Give me a break. I'd be real concerned if he's a Supervisor he might for get where he parked his car.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Fed Up

Hmmm, seems strange that neither of my two comments have been posted, even though several that were submitted after mine were. Could it be that I mentioned the Orrs? Apparently they have more people in their back pockets than I imagined.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

Seems to be an awful lot of people feeding at the County's trough and most of them seem to be relatives or friends of the Good Old Boys of the county and they all seem to be republicans. This country has , sadly, gone downhill ever since Reagan was elected. Cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes. Cutting taxes will create jobs. Yeah, right.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Crooked Connection

Seriously. Facts are pretty straight. Ron Walker's sercretary and her business buddies have been milking the tax payer with a sweetheart lease deal for far too long with a function that could easily be housed in existing govt office space for nothing. Thank you Miss Angius for exposing this good old boy rip off.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: why keep commenting

@diogenes why must you comment on these articles as usual you are in your own little world making comments that make people dumber by reading them for everyones well being just quit commenting!

and apparently this Tamara Ross is an eligibility technician at the wic office. And ofcourse the good ole boys get their way sounds like the Orr's are in on it to.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Sandra Lee

@ Same Old Thing: Notice Tamera Ross is NOT Tamara Ross

@No Name No Name: Two separate thoughts, imagine it: reporters get facts checked, candidate who started it doesn't get voted for

@Don't sweat the small stuff: The basic premise is that it's crooked because they all work for the county, which is not true. Makes a better story though if you don't check facts.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

Not one of the blogs or the story is complaining about the library's function or about the bookmobile. We all beleive they do a good job and are an asset to the county and proivdees a viable service to its seniors. What is the problem is wasting of taxpayer funds for something that could been housed in a county building instead of paying a privagte corporation for space.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

This response is for “no name provided” and any other blogger who actually knew that Tamara Ross (county employee) isn’t the Tamera Ross who is on the listing for the Arizona Department of Corporations listing for ORB Investments. It is obvious you all have some insight as to who is on the corporations listing for ORB Investments and then if you do, that would be assumed that you were also aware ORB Investments was leasing a building to the county at excessive rental rates when the county has more than adequate empty space available in the county-owned buildings to house this library annex. That would also indicate that sine you knew all of the above, that you too condoned the county paying money to a private corporation when they could have saved taxpayer funds and utilized county-owned buildings. I still say kudos to Hildy Angius for bring the problem to the residents’ attention.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Nope. Wrong.

This is ridiculous. The owners of that building are conscientious, ethical businesspeople that our county is lucky to have. People here constantly complain about the drug addicts and criminals here, and then attack those who are the best of us.

These are people who have made Kingman's community their home, they have friends and families here. They do business here, and they do business that keeps money here. They are not out of county developers who have walked away from bad investments here, killing property values and making some places look like we live in a ghost town.

These amazing, great people that I feel lucky to know personally, are not gouging the county and this slander is beyond despicable. The miner and candidate shouldn't simply accuse people of corruption, and forget to simply check their facts on what the space is used for, what comparable space is leased for, and who these people really are.

Most strikingly, Tamera Ross is not Tamara Ross. Further, the county has not gone corrupt to benefit two administrative assistants and their business partners. Seriously - this county hasn't given their employees much in this recession, no one is making a side deal to secretly give a financial benefit someone that really knows how to alphabetize or calendar meetings appropriately.

I am appalled, at this candidate's slanderous attacks on working and tax paying upstanding citizens who are not doing anything corrupt, and at this reporter's inability to fact check.

I would like the Miner to print a "the rest of the story" if someone could do real research before just printing wild accusations.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

I agree the bigger issue is the county is wasting taxpayer money paying a corporation that has two county employees involved for lease space when there is so much county-owned building space available. That is what everyone should be [angry] about, not that Hildy Angius misspelled a person’s name and incorrectly identified someone as being a county employee. I personally want to thank Hildy Angius for bringing this issue of “waste by the county” to the forefront and out from the smoke-filled backroom politics that occur every day in the county.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: NO NAMW

It seems to me that you people will believe ANYTHING you hear. I think that Ms. Angius should probably get her facts straight before bringing more B.S. to Kingman.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

@ nonameprovided

So in the article there was one name mispelled and one of 3 spouses who does not work for the county. Big Whoop. The bigger issue is the taxpayer getting hosed by Ron Walker and his cronies once again.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: ss dd

A few things you should know, the annex houses at least 8 employees and is the central hub for processing of books to the outlying libraries like South Mohave Valley, Meadview, Dolan Springs, Chloride, Valle Vista and Golden Shores. The Book mobiles (2 of them) service Colorado City, adult health care centers, tribal schools and at least 6 other out of the way locations that don't normally have a library. Kingman is the logical central location to reach them all as well as transport between the main libraries of Kingman, Bullhead and Havasu.
The old jail is in need of deparate repair. If it's not fit for inmates, it's not fit for employees. No one may think that books are that important anymore because of the internet and kindles and the like, but what if you didn't have tv, internet or even electricity for that matter? I'd rather have you read a book then out and about causing mischief.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: no name provided

Her name is spelled T-A-M-E-R-A Ross not Tamara Ross. Tamera Ross does NOT work at the Health Department. She works with her husband Taylor.
Ms. Angius should apologize to Tamera for her huge mistake in reporting that she (Tamera) is an employee of the county when this is not the case.

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: No Name No Name

@ Sandra Lee --

"It would be nice if the reporter checked her facts. I wouldn't vote for anyone who couldn't even get their basic facts to support their premise right either."

Not sure what you're saying -- you wouldn't vote for Suzanne Adams? Um... I don't think she's running for office. Could be wrong though. Anyway, she's not wrong about Tamara Ross.

@ Diogenes' --

YAWN! Please get a freakin' life, man! Nobody cares that you think the Miner is out to destroy mankind by muzzling you!

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Diogenes' Lantern

@ Sandra Lee -- Your comment about Miner reporters failing to fact-check is accurate. However, the Miner's reporters and editorialists -- with the exception of Ahron Sherman -- all fail to do any fact-checking. There have been so many errors of fact published in the Miner that I lost count a long time ago. The powers that be at the Miner are right-wing radicals with no regard for truth or honor. It is useless to point this out or complain about it because if you do it too much, they will begin to censor your comments and in some extreme cases will bar you from writing on the Miner at all. They did this to me one time a couple of years ago. They unilaterally and completely removed my blog from the paper. I had to threaten a lawsuit to get them to put my blog back up. Comments are heavily censored as well. Note all the (deleted) marks in many of the more progressive posters and the lack of (deleted) on the comments of the right-wingers.


Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Article comment by: Same Old Thing

@ Sandra Lee: Nice try. According to the county website, Tamara Ross is an eligibility technician in the public health department for WIC. The county is crooked, and it's nice to see someone out there exposing it for what it is.

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