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home : latest news : regional May 24, 2016

2/9/2013 6:01:00 PM
New Mohave supervisors keep campaign promise - technically, anyway
Titles changed, but officials maintained employment - and their salaries
Joy Brotherton
Joy Brotherton
Steven Moss
Steven Moss

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The three new Mohave County supervisors kept their campaign promise to eliminate the four deputy county manager positions and change the duties of the county manager on Monday - sort of.

The deputy county manager positions were cut from the county's administrative paperwork, but in reality only one, Dana Hlavac, found himself out of a job. Two others, Susie Parel-Duranceau and John Timko, kept their current pay and became department managers and Mike Hendrix was promoted to acting county administrator with a $4,000 a year raise.

District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton said she kept her campaign promise to eliminate the positions.

"There are no more deputy county managers," she said.

Those who were moved back to being department heads no longer have authority over multiple departments, Brotherton said.

Parel-Duranceau, the former deputy county manager of health and community services, was moved back to her former position as community development director at her current pay of more than $137,000 a year.

Timko, the former deputy county manager of management services, was also moved back to his old position of county finance director. Timko has a $148,000 a year contract with the county, which was renewed in January 2012 and lasts until May.

The Board decided, after an executive session at the end of the day Monday, not to move Hlavac, who served as the county's deputy county manager of criminal justice services for the last four years, back to his old position as Mohave County Public Defender.

Brotherton was disappointed that the Board decided not to reduce the salary of Parel-Duranceau.

"We couldn't do anything with Mr. Timko's salary. He's under contract," Brotherton said. "I did vote against Mrs. Parel-Duranceau (getting her previous position back), not because I didn't think she deserved it. She does a wonderful job. I voted against it because I didn't think it was fair that she keep the same salary she had as a deputy county manager."

As for Hlavac, Brotherton said, it could have caused the county problems if he moved back to his old position as public defender.

Hlavac has access to the different cases the county attorney's office, legal defender and public defender's offices are working on. That could present a conflict of interest if he returned to his previous job, she said.

Hlavac agreed that returning to his previous position might have caused problems.

"I gave a good, almost 12 years to the county. I think I accomplished a great deal. Not that I wouldn't want my old job back," he joked.

Moss agreed with Brotherton, but money was also an issue, he said. The current public defender makes less money than Hlavac, why replace someone who is doing a good job at a lower salary with someone who has a higher salary? He asked.

However, Moss took a different path with Parel-Duranceau's salary. He said he voted to keep her at her current salary because she would actually have more departments under her wing than when she was a deputy county manager.

Moss also pointed out Parel-Duranceau's departments have very little impact on the county's budget because most of their funding comes from grants that she and others in the department work hard to get.

Also, the cut in pay wouldn't amount to much, he said. Parel-Duranceau would have moved from $137,000 to $132,000 a year.

"She's been hitting homerun after homerun with these grants. Why would we want to penalize that?" Moss asked. "This reorganization is a work in progress. It's going to take a few meetings."

The Board also changed the title for the county's head administrator from county manager to county administrator, rescinded the ordinance that detailed the county manager's duties in favor of a simple job description and signed a six-month contract for $140,000 a year with former Deputy County Manager of Development Services Mike Hendrix to fill in as acting county administrator until a new person is chosen.

As a deputy county manager, Hendrix earned around $137,000 a year. His contract offers him a chance to apply for the county administrator position. If he's not chosen for the position, he's been offered a chance to serve as an assistant to the new administrator until August and/or take back his old position of county engineer.

The Board also argued over removing the authority to hire and fire department heads from the county administrator. Previously the county manager was the only person who could hire or fire a department head.

"I don't want to usurp the authority of the county administrator. I just want employees to be able to talk with Board members," said District 4 Supervisor Joy Brotherton.

"In my experience, it's not going to work. You need a day-to-day administrator," District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson said during Monday's meeting.

Moss admitted that his motion was intended to undermine some of the county administrator's power over department heads.

"I want staff to know that the ultimate power lies with the Board of Supervisors," he said. In previous administrations, the county manager had too much control over the department heads and the Board only heard one opinion on matters.

"The Board abdicated power to the county manager. I want to hear the debate between department heads," Moss said.

The Board unanimously approved giving itself the authority to hire and fire department heads.

ICT - Kingman Honda
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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Article comment by: Brother Justin

There is no Dana, only Zuul.

Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lisa Hinman

John Hauskins is correct in what he posted. If the board does all the hiring and firing, it will neuter the effectiveness of line supervisors and eventually become political in nature. Most regional governments have a manager or administrator that oversees the daily operations of their subordinates including the hiring and firing of dept heads. That is what a general management positions function is. A manager or administrator works day after day, week after week, etc. with the dept heads, and knows their expertise and leadership better than a disengaged Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors needs to set policy and allow a qualified manager to administer those specific policies as he sees best.
The Military learned many centuries ago that a rigid “Chain of Command” is the best system to achieve a common goal. Everyone has only one boss. If subordinates have the ability to go over the head of their superior, then chaos will be the result.
City governments do not have the authority to allow city councils to directly manage line managers. State statute only allows for councils to set policy and for managers to administer chosen policy. I doubt that our county government is any different and may be in violation of state statute.

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Article comment by: Ex Kingmanite Disappointed

How sad that this new and improved Board has already started making really bad decisions. Not that I am surprised in anyway. There was always a "hidden agenda" with these new board members that have to do with ex-business partners, and a new type of good old boy network. What they have managed to do in less than a month is allow corrupt individuals absolute power over the tax payers money. The Court system will now spend money that they don't have and the person in charge is the largest phony/crook of them all. He has his way now, I just hope he eventually has his bad ways, come around to bite him where he sits. What I don't understand is how these people can sleep at night. But, not being of that mind set, I am glad that I don't. All I can say, is be very aware and even more diligent citizens of Kingman.

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

So many with so much to say with fake names. I like the new BOS. I do not like the high salaries of contracted bureaucrats. Ridiculous!

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

Politics as usual in Mohave County.Elect me and I'll remove 4 Deputy County Managers but no one will lose their salary. How in the hell does that save money? The new supervisors are no different than what they replaced. As I have said before, the only way to tell a politician is lying is see if his mouth is open. And I voted for these clowns.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: tony wise

more jobs gone and then more pay raises. Who would of thought. More crooks in goverment. That photo of that woman is weird. Makes her look cross eyed. Goverment at it's worse. More people to suffer.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: L J

Seems to us is all the BOS did is drop there titles? Don't see any real savings to us the taxpayers? But there going to take care of there own at our expense. They all claim to be fiscal conservative (from Fox News playbook) and there
Right just look at the condition of our roads, neighborhoods, etc. can't justify spending funds on such nonsense when we need a new County building, a "good ole boy" building for a library, an administrator for a failed
Fire district (cost up 7K mo.), new office(s) for a board member, increase for BOS expenses,etc.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: dv s

Good start....!!!

Keep it up Joy..!

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Please KDM, please find another picture of Ms Brotherton to use. That pic makes her look ...well....very very bad.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: John Hauskins

If the board has the authority to hire and fire dept heads than the county adminstrator/county manager no longer has authority over them and cannot be held responsible for their performance. I agree that prior to action agains dept heads the county administrator should discuss his actions with the board, but now each department head has become a political position. There is no longer the need for a county manager, the departments heads only need to please individual board members and do not need to work together as a team for the best interest of the county as a whole. This is a very poor policy.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Department Heads

Didn't these departments already have "heads"? Musical chairs, everyone is moved around and one is out. This doesn't save the county much. What are these people's qualifications to make more than an eigth of a million per year? Do they have Doctorates, Masters Degrees, any degree? I remember Havatone "had some college", no degree, but she was elected.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Doris McGee

They are dead wrong on Timko. They can discuss his salary at any time, they have a 30 day termination notice at any time . Remember, Timko retired one day and the next day came back at the same salary. Hs is doing one job and being paid twice! He is not even a county employee. Why does he use all county resources? He works for a straw party, and should use his own.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Stupid is as stupid does

Has anybody considered the legal and/ or ethical implications that these supervisors are creating? They have just voted themselves the supreme rulers of the land and no one seems to care. Where are the checks and balances? There are none now.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Stupid is as stupid does

They may have saved the county some money in the short term, but I can guarantee that these people that have been demoted will now be looking for new jobs elsewhere. If they did such a great job, why did they punish them? I am NOT impressed with these new supervisors in the least. Has anybody thought about the long-term affects that these new supervisors just put into action? How much it is going to cost to replace these people that were just demoted once they leave?

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

The more things change the more they stay the same. At least in Kingman it appears. If these people think moving some one to another position at the same pay is cutting costs, things are worse than I suspected in Kingman govt. These same politicians will tell you that they are good conservatives. I'm not sure what that really means anymore. Remember Bush was also a conservative however we are still digging out of that mess, as we pay for two unfunded wars,while he lowered taxes for everyone at the same time. Maybe its just me but I think that a lot of people out there in the real world would like whoever set these salaries at this level for the job actually done, would also like them to adjust their income to a equal level. The people who actually do the work in this country have seen their pay decrease in value. If peoples wages were adjusted to what it takes to live with some respect given to any life this would be a far better place to live. The money is at the top and say what you want about the president the money is still at the top. Nobody went to jail and most of the money still remains at the top.I guess there is something to this to big to fail idea. The problem is it is real hard to join that club. The rich are too rich and they need to pay their fair share. It's just that simple. If cutting taxes had worked we wouldn't be having this discussion. The rich just don't invest in America anymore sad but true. Their job creator's all right problem is the jobs are in China and India not Kingman

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Why did you use such an unflattering picture of Joy?

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