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home : opinion : letters August 27, 2015

7/25/2010 6:00:00 AM
Letter: Eliminating the voices of opposition

Although not intentional, it seems that Mohave County government has almost become by definition tyrannical.

The problem seems to be when residents vote a person into office, they assume that person will represent his or her constituents.

Instead of this being the case, our local politicians seem to have their own agendas in mind. One can only guess why this is, but I think most of us know.

Let's take a quick look at how this cycle goes. Each member of the Board of Supervisors has been voted into office. Each supervisor gets to appoint three commissioners to Planning and Zoning! The three supervisors vote on and approve a county manager.

The county manager gets to appoint who is on the Technical Advisory Committee. In our case, it is all of the power brokers of Mohave County. The TAC members are revising the General Plan to be more business-friendly, all at the expense of the residents and their quality of life.

Now, obviously, all three supervisors will appoint people to each position that will agree with them. That's just human nature, but the problem comes when there are no checks and balances to this system. Or, another way to say it, the voice of the people still needs to be involved in this process!

With the elimination of the Call to the Public at public meetings, the lack of participation by ordinary residents on the revision of the General Plan, with the elimination of any water resources element, and the words "must" and "shall" being replaced by "should" and "may," in my opinion, is weakening the General Plan.

With the weakening of all guidelines in the General Plan, it will allow for everything to be up to interpretation by the BOS. This scares me! Another way to look at this is, it eliminates any arguments by residents and once again their voices.

The argument by the county will be that I still have the ability to speak at the P&Z and the BOS. My answer to this is, by the time it gets this far, both P&Z and BOS already have their minds made up. Remember the wet cooled solar plants and the diesel plant?

Whether it was intentional or not, this county has orchestrated a step-by-step process to eliminate any and all public participation in the decision-making process! With this said, the county can do business however it pleases.

To sum up what I just stated, the BOS and the P&Z and the county manager are in lockstep with their ideas. The county manager appoints only people who agree with him to be members on the TAC, which can change the General Plan to suit what their goals are.

All of the TAC members will benefit financially from the changes. They have basically eliminated any and all voices or opposition, which makes Mohave County an absolute ruler of its citizens.

Is this not the definition of a tyrannical government?

Wayne Smith


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010
Article comment by: WE THE PEOPLE{ME} THINKING

Water resource element:draft,3/17/2009-
draft 6/4/2009,is very good reading!
as for tac members please check out the list
as what they do for a living and then take a good hard look at the projects in and around our county, I could tell you who and what project but what fun would that be!!
Now when you are done with that please check out the 2005 process on the general plan up date and compare it to 2010 general plan up date,it is clear what the big change is but you have to read it to see it!!,all of this can found at
the county web site if you have the time to look
for it.

Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010
Article comment by: desert rat

@Patriot Wes - Here you go again with a lot of generalities that really don't accomplish anything but get your pen name in the paper.

If you had read the General Plan, you would note that in one of the first paragraphs it states very clearly thet the General Plan is developed as a GUIDELINE. It is for P&Z and the Board of Supervisors to use when making a decision on a growth or zoning change matter with the BOS always having the last say.. It sounds as though you would advocate putting everything to a vote for the populace to decide if John Doe can split his 10 acres into two 5 acre parcels. Not very practical.

Once again I would challenge you or one of your "corruption conspiricy theory" buddies to cite evidence of ONE instance of illegal financial gain by a member of the BOS, P&Z or TAC from a decision made by that group. You guys throw around accusations like water but, like water, nothing sticks.

Speaking of water, since you proclaim yourself to be an expert in the reserves in the aquifers in Mohave County and how much water we can use, why don't you just tell us how many homes and businesses that water supply can support. That would eliminate a lot of guess work on the part of other experts and would let developers know what to expect when they try to subdivide their property.

Finally, the new law does not eliminate the filing of a revised General Plan, it merely allows the counties to postpone that filing until 2015 if they so choose. Big difference to your half reading and lack of comprehension.

Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Article comment by: Christine Baker

Mohave county could implement PROXY voting and voting DIRECTLY on many issues.

Supposedly, a supervisor is elected and he acts by PROXY for the persons who elected him. Of course many times the people who voted politicians into office later DISAGREE with them on many issues.

By default, the elected politicians cast the votes for people who voted for them.

Through DIRECT voting on ISSUES, people who DISAGREE with their supervisor's vote can cast their vote directly.

In a more sophisticated system, you can assign ANOTHER voter to vote on your behalf by proxy.

Obviously not everybody is an expert on everything (although many people mistakenly believe so). If you know someone you trust and you don't have time to research the issue, you simply assign that person to vote on your behalf.

Electronic voting can NOT be manipulated as long as each vote results in a receipt with a unique number and the voters care to check that their vote was properly counted.

All votes are posted on the web with EACH receipt number (preferably live) and manipulation is impossible without detection as long as basic security is maintained.

Voting remains anonymous, it is extremely inexpensive and convenient. Engaged citizens can actually make a difference.

Corporations use proxy voting and it works well. Software is available, although not free, but worth the investment if community involvement is desired.

With today's technology there are many different options to the traditional ONE vote every few years for another corrupt politician.

A good primer for various voting systems is at http://commongoodbank.com/democracy

Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Article comment by: Patriot WES

@Desert Rat.
I fully understand what the TAC is! It's the group of people that is trying to change our General Plan so it means nothing. It means that the BOS will determine everything. You are of the opinion that the government knows what is best for the residents. I believe in "Of the people, by the people, and for people"
I have a good friend that asked Mr. Walker to be on the TAC, as he is the one that picked the members. Me. Walker told him NO. This man is highly qualified, more so than most Why shouldn't normal citizens be on the committee. because the General Plan will affect all of them! It doesn't take a genius to figure out the corruption side of this. They are making the changes to the General Plan that will benefit them financially. With less restrictions,They are the ones that can do more of what they do to make more money! This is really simple stuff, even you should be able to understand this! Give me a break that the General Plan has been brought into compliance with all new laws. When they want to turn over every decision to the state so the county won't get sued, you mean those new laws? I ask you, how can anybody not be concerned about water? The reason the TAC wants to get rid of anything water, is it stands in their way of making money! A new law goes into affect on the 29th that says counties do not have to redo their general plan! In my opinion, this whole process should just be dropped! Once again, the people changing the General Plan will benefit the most from the changes. Sound like corruption to me!

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
Article comment by: Seemore Junk

First off, that is a darn fine letter you wrote Mr. Smith.

I don't know what "Desert Rat" is thinking but everyone knows about the corruption of the BOS and the way that corruption extends into every tentacle of Mohave County government especially in Kingman.

Just the other day someone was saying how Sheriff Sheahan is an icon in our community and he needs to stay. We all know that this is the season to remove incumbents because they all become corrupt and forget who they represent. Sheriff Sheahan has been in office way too long. I heard in the case of Sheriff Sheahan that this years budget for training police officers is a mere 10 thousands dollars for 2010. This is a disgrace. Firstly, it is plainly clear they need training and need to stop running to the BOS and King Walker like little kids with snotty noses for every instruction. With SB1070 out there our police need intensive training like they are doing in other Arizona counties. The BOS is approving and making poor if not horrendous decisions almost monthly. They represent themselves not the people, and their motto is" if it's not land we don't take a stand". All you "Good old Boys and gals have got to go," and the people are very serious about this.

Hats off to you Mark Bogard for your article on Sunday. It seems every where you turn Gary Watson is taking a beating. Shiny new cars and trucks seem far more important than senior services to the BOS. In Bullhead senior citizens have had no Christmas for four years, in a certain area where the BOS has charged every citizens 18 thousand dollars for a new sewer. They bill them twice a year and will take their home away if they do not pay. Some seniors have to decide as to whether pay or eat, poor wheel chair ridden on fixed income of less than 800 a month. I bet you BOS guys must feel real proud as you drive your new cars and charge lunch to the Mohave County credit card. I am not going to waste my time using words like idiot, stupid, moronic, empty headed, self serving, dishonest, corrupt, incompetent, arrogant, on the BOS because none of these do any justice in really describing the evil that presides here in Mohave County.

Now I have a special message for Supervisor Tom Sockwell: Where the heck do you get off saying in the Bullhead paper that 3 people are not "The People". There was over 3400 hundred signatures on your petition. There were at least 60 volunteers who started out with the recall but due to many good reasons only about 7 stayed with it to the end. Some people felt your worthless carcass wasn't worth sacrificing their family obligations some had illness some had deaths in their families and the list is long. Every time you open your mouth you make yourself look even less credible. I am serious Mr. Sockwell, and I know personally because I was one of the "magnificent Seven" who stayed the course to irradiate the likes of you and you're thinking. You Mr. Sockwell are an abomination to the concept of a public servant. You Mr.Sockwell are much like a parasite sucking off the life of everything good in Mohave County. Now Mr. Sockwell you have some tall explaining to do and you better do it. You better get right on it ,explaining what you mean when you say the 3400 District two voting citizens are "going off the deep end". You show your true color when you say using a legal, peaceful due process is going off the deep end. Do you have any idea how many folks want you out but were afraid to sign? Do you have any idea how many folks want you out but are content to wait until your next regular election? I don't think so. I don't think you have any idea at all and you better be careful when you open that mouth of yours. Mr. Sockwell please explain what "going off the deep end" is ? Is it pulling papers to recall Watson, or is it pulling computer police records and profiling a citizen for doing so? Is it stalking such a person at work and arresting him on the way home to his family for misdemeanors? Is it suggesting such a person is a thief? Is it slander my dear Supervisor, calling citizens hippies and troublemakers, done over and over again? Is that going " off the deep end " ? Mr. Sockwell, can you please tell me what you mean by "they're going to find themselves in a whole bunch of trouble if they keep this up"? Sounds like a threat to me, sounds like a big threat!

So let me see if I get this right? If 3400 people in your district and maybe several thousand more who want to want until the regular election or were too frightened to sign, keep expressing their right to the opinion that you are a disgrace as a County Supervisor keep exercising their freedom of speech and democratic due process, they are going to find themselves in big trouble? Please explain what you mean. Do you mean you're going to stalk, set up, intimidate, and use all your power of corruption against them, sort of like a Hitler Third World dictatorship? Do you mean as you say , " this nonsense " will not be tolerated: free speech will not be tolerated any criticism of you and your cronies will not be tolerated that you and your cronies make the rules and us "you people" are insignificant flotsam in the sea you call Mohave County. Mr Watson Mr. Johnson and Mr Walker you all better wise up quick. The first thing you need to do is gag Sockwell because he is going to be spending more time in court trying to cover up his serious indiscretions than he will be serving up his "nonsense" to Mohave County voters.

Mr Watson, you need to know its more than your complicity with Sockwell and his corruption, that is flaming the fire to remove you as well. It appears all the water in our aquifer , that you want to lavish on land purchasing industry, won't be enough to put out the fire Sockwell has started and that will consume the entire BOS.

Mr. Johnson, you better run as fast as you can away from these guys, because I think you are up next. Save yourself.

Sheriff Sheahan , if you want to stay now is the time to just say no to the BOS and start living by your oath. It's not a pitchfork you need to be worried about, it's the BOS and the County Manager. Save yourself.

Yes, fellows we have had a very hot July, but it's not those 115 degree temperatures that you need to worry about. Your worry needs to be focused on the boiling blood of thousands who are sick and tired of you all.
How many lawsuits will the citizens tolerate? How much will the county insurance policy go up? How much nonsense will the people take? These are questions you better think about but I can guarantee you the battle here has just begun and no one is going to stop until honesty, integrity, morality and democracy prevails in beloved Mohave County.

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
Article comment by: desert rat

@patriot Wes - I will defer to Mr. Smith as perhaps being better versed in General Plan related topics but certainly not to you. As best I can see you are merely a spreader of rumor and inuendo. You continue to charge corruption of everyone connected with the county but never, ever, point out one specific case where there was monitary gain by anyone.

Do you understand the words TECHNICAL - ADVISORY - COMMITTEE ? Exactly who do you think is qualified to give TECHNICAL input? School bus drivers? How about the guy at the window at Jack-In-The-Box? Somebody changing oil at WalMart? These are all normal citizens, all working hard at being a member of the community but probably not who should be relied upon for TECHNICAL advise. By the way, did you touch base with your Supervisor and volunteer to serve? I did not because I do not consider myself TECHNICAL enough.

The water issue really gets you nuts! I did not state anything about the water supply except that there is NO ONE - NO ONE who can definitevly answer a question about the condition of Mohave County's aquifer conditions today let alone 5 or 10 or 20 years from now. A comprehensive study was initiated by the USGS and the State but was scrapped because of a lack of funds. Now you can guess all you want and try to pass it off as fact on anyone silly enough to listen to you but, that is all you can do is guess.

There have been hydrologists who, using a certain set of assumptions, have made educated guesses that there are reserves enough for new communities holding thousands of new homes, parks, and golf courses for the next 100 years but, that is exactly what they are is educated GUESSES.

I will restate my observation regarding the changes made to date in the 2010 General Plan Review from the 2005 version. 2010 has been brought into compliance with state and federal laws passed in the last five (5) years, has changed the "shall" verbiage to "should" or "may" to better reflect the advisory rather than mandatory nature of the Plan and has revised a water resources section that makes better sense given the information available at this time. I probably should also mention that there are several population and demographic illustrations that are to be updated when the 2010 census data is available.

My bla, bla, bla is a heck of a lot more specific that any posts of yours that I have taken time to read. Your attitude seems to be Lets throw enough vague charges and guesses against the wall and see if we can get anything to stick. Maybe with some but not with me.

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
Article comment by: BOS and boards of Czars

The public expresses itself every four years in the election of the Board of Supervisors. They are part of our republican form of government, which is patterned after our Federal republic. This is NOT a democracy.

We elect the BOS to supervise. What gets me is that most of their administrative power, even much of the decision making, is handed over to a county manager who is not elected by the people. Now, I don't propose electing the Manager, what I do propose is better thought in electing the Supervisors.

Being a long term, or life long as the case be, resident of Mohave County is not much of a qualification to head a government who represents all the people, when most of the people have been residents for 10 years or less.

Furthermore, a retired navy commander who very effectively commands the "county ship," including having much authority and significant control, over the BOS, granted by the BOS, is too much power in the hands of one person. As much as the BOS decides law, the Manager, almost unilaterally, determines policy, regulations, limitations, and manages freedom. When the legislative body grants managers of bureaucracies the power to regulate, the power of legislation is transferred from the legislative body to the bureaucracy. Hence runaway Federal regulation, limitations, policies, enforcements, etc.

If you don't like what we have, then plan well and differently for the next election. If you do like how things are, then vote the same again. It is your choice, The power is in the voter, and the voters choose in whom they vest their power at each election.

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
Article comment by: WE THE PEOPLE{ME} THINKING

New verison G.P.mohave county.
page.14,1,a. title:purpose.page15.c.title:effects.
does the words{mandatory directives} mean somthing?Hmmm as for the issue on water I
was there when the U.S.G.S. gave its report to
the B.O.S.not to long ago,to make a long story short does mohave county have a problem with
its water supply?? its clear some who post here
did not take the time to research alittle more,
Heres a thought,
The most successful tryanny is not the one that
use force to assure uniformity but one that removes the awareness of other possibilities,
that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable,that removes the sense that
there is an outside:quote.from,Allen Bloom his book"the closing of the american mind"
the correct way to frame"monitary gain" is to ask: after all is said and done will I gain from it!!

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
Article comment by: Patriot WES

@Desert Rat
Bla, Bla, Bla, obviously you need to go back and read Mr. Smith's article. I think he address most of your questions, but you just don't like his answers! Monetary gain? The people on the TAC are in position to make a profit from the growth at any cost mentality! On this committee, there are real estate people, spot zoners, lawyers that represent land owners, a couple of engineering firms, at least one building contractor, and government people! The government people will profit from bigger budgets if there are more people! I'm sure you can see where the profit motive comes in. Monetary gain and conflict of interest? Mr. Rat, even you should be able to see the problem with this. Also, some of the people set on the
P&Z, and they have influence on the outcome of this, Sounds like corruption to me! Please tell me why there are no ordinary citizens on the TAC committee!!!! You also state an abundace of water into the future. You don't have an abundance of water for sure if you eliminate water in perpitutity from your general plan as a goal. You also don't have water for the future by having wet cooled solar plants.
Your statement that the current group agrees with the 2005 review, how absurd.Then why are they changing it so much. Mr. Rat, you talk in circles. My last statement to you is why even have a general plan as Mohave Co. doesn't follow it anyway, You want to have the state decide everything so you won't get sued! Once again with you, it's Bla, Bla, Bla

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010
Article comment by: desert rat

@Mr. Smith - As posted elsewhere, I do not consider myself an expert in the General Plan. I am sure you are more well versed than I. However, there a couple of points that occur to me as I read your well presented piece.

You have leveled some very serious charges against those citizens who served on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the citizens who serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and the County Manager. If you have evidence of monitary gain by any of these individuals as a result of a conflict of interest in any decisions made in the preparation of the Plan, that evidence should be presented to the authorities.

Since there have been no major changes to the General Plan put forth as of June, it would seem that the current groups serving in P&Z and the TAC agree in principle with the groups who served for the 2005 review. It should be pointed out that all of the individuals serving for this 2010 review are were not officially involved in the 2005 review.

As is clearly stated in the Plan Overview, the General Plan is not considered a regulation or a law. It is intended merely as a GUIDELINE for decision makers. Its weight is derived from the fact that there has theoretically been input from a wide cross-section of the public. That input was provided by multiple public meetings during the initial preparation of the Plan and the subsequent five year updates.

If, as stated, the Plan is but a guideline, then the use of the word "shall" as used in the previous versions of the Plan is inappropriate as there is no weight of regulation or law to enforce that use. If there is a desire for a particular section of the Plan to be binding on P&Z or the BOS, it should be extracted and follow the process for enacting that section into regulation or law. Enforcement would then fall to the appropriate department.

As to your concerns regarding the removal of many of the guidelines regarding water, I am not aware of a single person who: serves on P&Z, on the TAC, on the BOS, is employed by the county or, for that matter, resides in the county, who is qualified to ascertain the exact state of the water supply in Mohave County. To assume that P&Z or the BOS will devine some magic capability when making decisions regarding new projects, be they commercial or residential, is not rational.
As stated in the Plan there are an abundance of Federal, State and County laws already in place regulating water useage and quality which should, and apparently will, guide decisions.

As a matter of fact, there is no way to insure an abundance of water into the future. There are just too many variables involved. Who would have predicted 20 years ago the depletion seen in Lake Mead?

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010
Article comment by: Gisela Potokar

Good letter, Mr. Smith. After reading it, the only thing that kept coming to mind are Obama's czars! Appointed, not elected, and are our "shadow government". Most are known ultra liberals, socialists, and even Communists. Oh, even a believer on Mao.

Maybe it is time for Mohave County to make certain positions, such as County Manager, also an "elected position", and some other positions. And, they should all be subject to Mr. Borgard's litmus test!! Would that help?

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010
Article comment by: Rick Veradt

Great letter Wayne. However, no one in this county gives a damn unless there is something in it for them. I live in Valle Vista and a bunch of former "NIMBYS' have gotten together and broken down the general plan. We too are very scared. No more Board of Supervisors. Just a Board of Czars. Besides eliminating any voice by the people of this County it also makes this county ripe for corruption. You want to put a business here you pay the right people. I,
'm sure the current board will assure everyone that won't happen. Why does this not make me feel any better.
Our group is meeting at 3:30 on Tuesday at the Valle Vista clubhouse. Come on down if you've a mind to. All ideas gratefull. Just enter Valle Vista and follow the road for a mile and a half. Club is on the right side by the golf course. accepted.

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