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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016

11/4/2012 6:01:00 AM
Editorial Column: A sudden yen for austerity - or is it?

Rich Thurlow

It's a shame county Treasurer Melissa Havatone's enthusiasm for austerity is surfacing now, when she is down to her final 55 or so days in office. Rather than the dry, same old "re-elect me" speeches she gave at forum after forum, Havatone could have been a conservative's dream, the budget-cutting firebrand who was slashing payroll because, by golly, she was so darn efficient.

But those plans were never part of her campaign. Pushing them now, days before she leaves office, makes her look like a sore loser.

Havatone will pitch the idea of cutting the treasurer's office staff by 6.5 positions when the supervisors meet Monday. Four employees can leave because the office is running smoothly now, according to Havatone, and two more positions can be eliminated because a new computer program will do the work for them.

Cindy Landa Cox, who is replacing Havatone, thinks the proposal is politically driven.

Ya think?

Cox called the move a politically motivated vendetta and said that the people who will lose their jobs if this plan is OK'd did not support Havatone's re-election.

Cox called all of them "smart people."

There's no question they are smart enough to work in the treasurer's office, but you have to wonder how bright they really are if they let the old boss know they think a new boss can do better.

That's another story, though.

While I'm sure the idea of cutting payroll by $350,000 has a certain appeal, I'm also confident the supervisors aren't going to cut off the legs of the incoming treasurer. In other words, I'd be shocked if they took any action on the matter before Cox is in office and has a chance to get her feet wet.

As for Havatone, I'm not going to call her a sore loser. But I will note Miner Reporter Suzanne Adams gave our departing treasurer plenty of opportunities to spell out why her proposal is smart business.

But Havatone doesn't have a clue when it comes to dealing with the media. She hasn't returned a phone call from the Miner in four years, and she didn't spoil her record last week.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Article comment by: Jack Shepherd

Havatone is the problem, not the solution!

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

You do realize that's not what the actual pay is, don't you? They are talking health insurance, retirement contributions, Workmans Comp, SS payments, etc.

When you look at a position, whether initiating or eliminating, you have to take ALL expenses into account. Didn't you run a business in the past? Weren't there ancillary expenses beyond salary for each employee?

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Ms. Havatone is full of it! Just seeking revenge! Shame on you Ms. Havatone, shame on you! Those people have a right to their opinion just like any other Mohave county citizen. Act like a grown up and take your leave. Just making a fool of yourself.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Same Old Thing

You'd think Rich Thurlow, a staunch supporter of the Teabaggers version of "smaller" government, would have supported this move regardless of the reasons. He sure does when it comes to women's contraceptives.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Gee Butch isn't there some rule against bad mouthing a Republican. I thought there was because they all say the same thing. There never seems to be much disagreement in your party. Wow Havatone must be really vindictive to do that to another Republican. I guess she thought that she did such a great job she would be re-elected. I'm pretty sure there will be lots of surprises come election day. Not all of them to the liking of Republicans.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Bozo Capitol of the World

We got rid of the "King of the golf course" and elected a "Queen of Incoming Calls Only", all cruising in high style on the County Good Ship Bounty with Captain Blahhh.

Yes, my good editor, the budget hand-wringing BOS will side-step a cost-cutting measure with justification floated as being the right thing to do for our ohhh-so-well-informed voters.

Little wonder the world gazes with amazement and ponders what draws so many Bozo's all to one place.

Now, back to that search on "Hell Hath No Fury as a . . ."

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

So the six positions that Havatone is for dumping made about $60,000 a year? Some probably more, some less.

Wow! That is certainly more than I made at the County after working there three years. I started at about $8 an hour, less than at McDonalds. After three years, it was up to about $25,000. And that was working the front counter. What I wouldn't have given for anywhere close to $60,000. While grateful for work, I certainly had to scrimp to get the bills paid.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Trained Observer

I agree with you on this one.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Thank You

Thank you for saying it like it is! I can't believe she thinks she can get by with this! I hope the BOS has enough sense to see what she is doing. Havatone and her Chief Deputy Oliver, what a couple of vindictive, revengeful and bitter women. Showed your true colors. Those poor employees! Hang in there guys!!!!!

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