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home : opinion : columns April 30, 2016

7/28/2013 6:00:00 AM
Guest Column: At mid-year, supervisors earn an 'A'
Steve Robinson
Golden Valley Resident

The newly elected Board of Supervisors took office in January. After a tumultuous election cycle where all three incumbents had primary challengers, Mohave County has three new supervisors on the expanded five-member board. This board has an agenda to make the county government more transparent and responsive to its citizens.

This is not the first time there are five supervisors for Mohave County. Voters chose in 1983 to expand that board to five, which lasted two terms beginning in 1985, after which the County returned to three Supervisors in 1993. Many changes occurred and problems presented themselves when that new board took office that eerily echoed through the 2012 election. Ironically, many changes implemented under that five-member board were reversed by the new board, and that is the delicious irony for this new board.

The name of one member of that board appeared in last year's election. Bill Roper, the father of District 4 candidate Ted Roper, was one of two incumbents. The former head of the Duval Mine was elected just as the mining industry, and that mine particularly, was dying out. Ironically, that made a huge change in the career plans of one current county leader, County Administrator Mike Hendrix. He graduated with a mining engineering degree and planned to return to Kingman and work at the Duval Mine for the father of his boyhood friend, Ted Roper. Instead, he returned home in 1984 to begin a career at Mohave County.

The parallels continue. The county had an administrator in 1984, but they changed the name to county manager in July 1985, during the first year of that five-member board. There was a re-organization and a job classification study, and the upshot was numerous changes, including the title. Was the current board simply "righting the wrong" of that board?

Another change by the current board undid another decision by that board. Prior to that board's inaugural month, the county had an opportunity for "Public input," their equivalent to the "Call to the Public." It stopped appearing in the minutes that January. When Supervisor Becky Foster tried to re-institute Public Input in June 1986, the board was informed by Deputy County Attorney Tom Price that it might lead to misconception by the media and possible Open Meeting law violations.

It took 28 years before the people had opportunity to once again address the board of supervisors with their concerns. Kudos for the new board members who followed through with their promises. While I understand that Supervisor Johnson may not have known the county had public input before, I'm not certain why Buster wanted people to simply speak directly to supervisors individually, and not the board as a whole. I'm thrilled that the new supervisors did not buy that argument and re-instituted Public Input, under its new name, the "Call to the Public."

Much has been written about the removal of the security checkpoint, once again allowing citizens to carry guns, eliminating the dress code and the real commitment to greater transparency. I'm pleased that these changes have undone the sins of the past administration. While I have pushed the county supervisors on other issues, overall I'm extremely pleased with the work of Supervisors Hildy Angius, Joy Brotherton and Steven Moss. They have stood firm on their promises and I know they are committed to further improvement in the management of the county government.

The changes the public has seen from this board are nothing short of remarkable. While I see numerous other issues that still face them, for now I'm just focusing on their accomplishments and say to the Board, "Great job!" Keep up the good work.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Wilbur Miner

I thought it curious that presumptuous statements were made about what Mike Hendrix was planning to do, some 30 years ago after college. Who wright this stuff? The University of Arizona's College of Mines was one of the top 2 or 3 in the country at the time (Colorado school of Mines) and Mike probably had 3-5 paths paved for pursuit. Mohave County should be glad he chose to come home instead of going to Nevada, or overseas. Besides, doesn't working your way up, being a dedicated hard worker (almost 30 years!) count for anything? Granted, nobody's perfect, but he's really good at what he does, and has a career's worth of experience to back it up. We could use more like him.

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Sherwood

Dave Calvi has got it right. I would just add, if he allows, is much more could be accomplished for the county if all the Board was of the same mind set. They would have much more power in getting jobs here if they were all in sync with common goals. To much energy is spent trying to sway the others to vote their way, on any given issue. It looks to outsiders like a divided group, not harmonious. But so far they have righted the wrongs, now lets move forward.

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013
Article comment by: Anson Smith's Ghost

Rick O'Shea, None of the new Sups took a new vehicle, they did take vehicles out of existing motor pool. Ms. Angius didn't even take a vehicle. So make sure you know what you're talking about.

Ms. Brotherton however has some problems. She vote for support of the Medicaid expansion. Also I watched video of a meeting earlier this month. where she supported keeping the zoning on an unimproved property at it's higher value to get more taxes from the owner, even though it never was developed. neither of those actions are very conservative.

Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Article comment by: Dave Calvi

I think that's a bit unfair, Rick O'Shea. So far, I think the new Board is doing great. I speak of the majority, which actually gets things accomplished. The minority in all of the new regulations, doesn't really matter. The difference now is, the previous majority, is now the minority and that makes all the difference in the world.

Within the confines of the last six months, this new majority has done more GOOD for this county than the previous Board did in DECADES and I think it's only going to keep going. I think we have people on the Board of Supervisors now, who will truly put the People first. I believe in the new Board Members, and I would put my trust wholeheartedly in Hildy Angius', and Steve Moss' hands. They are true leaders, as well as patriots. If I am ever wrong, I will be the first to tell them and they know it. I've got both of them on speed dial, as well as Joy and Gary and I am confident that they have your best interests in mind.

Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

Over all I'd say the three new Supervisors have done a good job but it may be premature to make a full evaluation. I see several issues that are almost subliminal in nature but are still looming under the surface. The first issue is we still have two of the 5 Supervisors that are incumbents from before this last election. Gary Watson is mostly a blender but still new enough in his Supervisor position to have some positivity and flexibility. On the other hand Supervisor Johnson is in his 5th term and has become the classic skeptical and still arrogant career politician. He gives the freshness of the new board a tarnish that hurts the County overall. The second issue is that the same old guard, the same good ol boy and girl group still have far too much a grip on our county.This grip is what has allowed previous dysfunction to occur in our local government and only time will tell how reaching that negative influence remains.

Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

You don't get an "A" for fixing a mistakes that should have never been made in the first place. No, I would say the BOS's are in my book a "C", the future will tell if they go up or down from there, don't forget about the 120K they spent on SUV's for themselves.

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