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10/16/2011 6:01:00 AM
Mohave County Manager Ron Walker will resign
Ron Walker
Ron Walker

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - County officials have confirmed that County Manager Ron Walker plans to leave his position at the end of next year.

Walker was hired as the county manager in May 2001 at a salary of $87,000 and was placed in charge of a $151 million budget and 1,200 county employees.

The Board of Supervisors approved a new contract with Walker in 2009 and extended it by 18 months in January. He currently makes more than $170,000 and is in charge of $77 million budget and 777 employees with around 117 positions unfilled. He will go off the payroll on Dec. 31, 2012.

In the last two years Walker has been involved in a number of conflicts between the public and the county.

In August 2010, Golden Valley resident Luca Zanna filed a lawsuit against the county, the Board of Supervisors and Walker for violating his rights because Supervisor Buster Johnson asked Zanna to stop passing out flyers on county property during a town hall held by Sen. John McCain in November 2009.

Zanna also accused Walker of libel after a letter to the editor from Walker and a letter from Sockwell were published in local newspapers. Zanna later dropped that claim from the lawsuit.

Walker and the county were involved in another conflict in February 2010 when he refused to let Kingman resident Mervin Fried enter the County Administration Building with a pitchfork. Fried was arrested for trespassing and after a lengthy court process was acquitted of the charges.

Fried was arrested again earlier this year after he wore a shirt with an obscenity on it to a public meeting on the county tax rate. He is currently fighting the charges.

In March 2010, Walker increased the security presence at the County Administration Building by installing a metal detector, hiring more security officers and requiring all residents to check their guns when they entered the building.

At the same time the Board approved changes to the county's policies such as a dress code for Board meetings, prohibiting the public from passing out political information on the county grounds and prohibiting weapons in county buildings.

According to a profile written in a 2002 edition of the Miner, Walker served 26 years in the Navy and retired as a captain in 1994.

He has a bachelor's degree in business from Eastern Texas State University and was teaching seventh and eighth graders in San Benito, Texas when he joined the Navy in the late 1960s. He went through the officers program and started work as an aerospace engineering duty officer for anti-submarine aircraft on aircraft carriers. He later moved to working on fighter planes.

He earned two masters degrees in systems management from the University of Southern California and in financial management from National University while in the Navy.

He served on the USS Saratoga in the aerospace repair facility during combat action in Libya and during the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking in 1985.

He also was a senior leader in various other Navy aerospace maintenance and engineering organizations, including Attack Carrier Air Wing Fifteen, Naval Air Station Miramar, in San Diego, a deputy commander for Naval Aviation Depots in Washington D.C., an adjunct professor in management science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, Calif., and a director of the Department of the Navy Total Quality Management Training Center and Naval Leadership Training Unit in San Diego.

When he retired from the Navy in 1994 he moved to Lake Havasu City and started work as a management consultant with the Federal Quality Institute of Washington, DC. He completed performance audits and worked with executives.

He ran in the 2000 primary against Treasurer Dora Goodmiller and lost. He then applied for the county manager's position. He was one of four finalists and was offered the job in 2001.





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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012
Article comment by: Pope pope

there is a cover up right now going on

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Article comment by: whatever whatever

yeah yeah

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: nnp .....

@Law Dog retired....you don't get it. If I don't like the job my plumber does, that does not mean I should replace him. I am not a plumber (and we could use other examples here, of course). Same with a County Manager. You just undermined the peoples' rights to expect honest and responsive Government. Tell you what, in language even a retired cop can understand - even if I couldn't find my way on a sunny day down to the County Administration Building, I expect officials behaving as gangsters and thieves to be held responsible.

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: DV s

Good bye, Good bye, Good bye...to bad its not the end of 2011....Bye ron, you won't be missed.....

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: Wakeup People

Well lets see the future for Little Roni Walker, why do you think he states he will retire on 12/31/2012. Little Roni Walker is waiting to see who the 5 board members will be, will he be able to control 3 of them, if he can then his contract will be extended by the 3 he can control. So I would say Mohave County residents wake up and make sure we vote for individuals who are for the people of this county. If Little Roni Walker doesn't have the employees he started with then why do we still need all the Deputy County Managers. They are supervising less employees, maybe we need to go back to having directors and supervisors for those departments, This will cost us a lot less. I have a question, we have a Deputy County Manager-John Timko, a Human Resources Director- Ramon Osuna, and a Deputy Human Resources Director-Chris Renner Weldon, why do we need 3 high paying supervisors overseeing 3 employees in Human Resources? The new position for Chris Renner Weldon, Deputy Human Resources Director, where is the job description, what are the qualifications for this position? How can she be in this position when she is also the Occupational Health Manager, and her husband, Richared Weldon, is the Risk Manager? I would think that instead of helping our employees these two are a dangerous combination, since Chris's job now consist of hiring firing. Also lets see in the next 1 1/2 how many more jobs will be created with high paying increases for the chosen few of Little Roni Walker. I do believe we do need to have a good house cleaning in the Mohave County Administration Building due to the nepotism, hiring husband and wives, children, just to Little Roni Walker can be surrounded by his chosen ones.

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: No name provided

@ KL
You make a good point but remember retribution from the County Government for lawful free speech and activism on the part of concerned citizens is a big crime. Walker and the BOS and all their cronies are under a micro scope now. I think they are smart enough to understand their might be some traps set up right now just to catch them at such activity. Real names add credibility. Governing by fear will become a thing of the past in Mohave County if we all speak up without fear.


Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: LawDog Ret

To everyone who commented negatively on this story:

Will you be in the running to replace the person you're complaining about? C'mon! YOU obviously know the secret to a better way to run things! It is irrresponsible of you as a citizen to deprive everyone else of an existence in the paradise that would result when YOU are now in charge.

Not going to run?

Didn't think so. Okay, just continue to complain about the difficult job that others have to do, while you hide behind window curtains and computer keyboards.

Sigh.


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: From Havasu

My comment to mark r re: "BY the way citizens of havasu, could you stop RE-ELECTING Johnson."

If our local Havasu newspaper EVER reported County news, maybe we could stop re-electing him. The problem is our local Havasu newspaper - that is owned by the same company the Kingman Daily Miner is owned by - keeps Havasu citizens in the dark about county news and not many in Havasu think to read the news here online at the Kingman newspaper.

People of Kingman - start posting comments to the Today News-Herald (www.havasunews.com) with links to the Kingman newspaper. It's the only way Havasu residents are going to hear anything outside of an occasional county press release.



Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Change or no change?

I don't know Mr. Walker personally. He appeared to work hard to create a career and succeed. Here's the problem. Often these people have grand ideas that are not in harmony with the mindset of the community. Their salaries are so out of whack with the real population that they are not able to see the communities real needs.
We need new people who are able to see the vision of those who live here and work with the population. I do not wish anyone ill and have no reason to claim dishonesty on his part.


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: no name

@KL..........you'll notice that the only ones mentioning their names are those in power and those departing this insane asylum.

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Thank God!

Thank God!!!!! The problem is they will just replace him with another puppet clone. Sad, I hope we get some real Change with our new County Manager. He should of been Fired, not given an opportunity to resign.

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: K L

@ All You Chickens

Anybody with any brains would indeed cloak themselves in anonymity. This is a small town and the potential for retribution among those with a hillbilly mentality, is high.


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: K L

City and County Managers have a reputation for going from location to location and swindling those that they represent. It's odd, it's almost as if it's in their job description to do so.

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: baby houseman

Not soon enough to help some of us.

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Friend Walker

Thank you Ron! Thank you for your service to this great Country in the Navy and thank you for your service to this County! You took Mohave County from the verge of bankruptcy to where it now has a surplus and is in much better financial shape than most other counties in Arizona. I know it was hard and thankless work but I for one appreciated all you did – especially in helping the Probation Department secure an adequate facility for its deserving men and women. While I regularly joked about not being related to you – I’m proud to call you my friend. Good luck to you and yours in the future!

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Philip Lundquist

well, with the Arizona Governor's office recently having stated that they will not investigate cases of local corruption, criminals like those here in Kingman operating under cover of authority are basically free to engage in gangsterism. That, of course, leaves aware and victimised citizens three choices - roll over, get the hell out of Dodge, or fight. [deleted] the second is probably the best choice for those with weak hearts and good cars, and it's the third choice which earlier Americans would recognise as the only viable one. You have big obstacles to action here. Near the top of the list are the churches. What part of "Just do it" do people not understand? Then you have the Bad Old Boys, Masons and Mormons. At least America's earliest revolutionaries didn't have to face down entrenched interests devoted to a swindling psychopath-"Prophet" who thought America's Natives were the Lost Tribes Of Israel, and they hadn't yet devolved into a bunch of old men who need to be sat down and have the difference explained to them between Satan and God.

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Boot them OUT

Its high time the Three Stooges got ran out if here on our very our RAILS.

No way did this dirtbag deserve ANY pay raise. To see he got 83000 in raises over less then a decade is an absolute Slap on every persons face in this county. Its not just a slap its a BOOT in the rump as well. WE"RE STARVING and this crumb bum get another year to
twist" the knife in our backs?. WHY WHY WHY.

Walker, Johnson, Sockwell have been the "triple threat" of doom and disaster long enough.

Please SOMEBODY with alittle leverage start a county wide movement to Demand this man be let go Immediately. DO NOT allow this parasite another year to draw his salary and further cost the residents more funds.

Then lets go after Johnson and Sockwell. Our three stooges are not at all funny. Their DANGEROUS.



Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Dancing in the streets

Get on your dancing shoes, your brightest pants, and a hawaiian shirt.

Why did this man get 83000 dollars in raises in less then 10 years?. How did "we" let this happen. Oh thats right our public officials VOTED on it. Just like they do for themselves.

Meanwhile. We the county residents can bearly keep a roof over our heads. No Industry, No decent jobs if any kind, No future for our kids.

Nothing at all except more fees and taxes.

I guess they need someway to pay for their raises...Dont they.

I cant wait to see this "lil tin god" disappear into the sunset. I really hope he moves FAR away. The damage this man has caused this county will take Decades to recover from that it we ever recover.

Its really a shame his "buddies" wont go with him.
Maybe after he leaves our county can start doing things to put people back to work and draw new Business here. Then again...Probably not.


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Bill Scaffold

Wait! The Mayan Calendar ends a few days before he leaves! He's here till the end of time!!!

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Just Thinking

Yes just thinking how great it could have been for the County if he had stayed in the Navy!
Just thinking we owe all military men and women a big THANKS for sacrifices made for our freedom!
Just thinking in the military respect of ones commanders is demanded.
Just thinking in civilian and private enterprise Respect is EARNED and returned when given!
Just thinking, bad Walker did not understand respect, he only demanded it and got NONE!
Just thinking if this County needs some one to take over this position they would make a bigger mistake if Walker has any part in picking or training the replacement.
I also am a transplant from Cal. however if I were in charge of this County in this position, all County employees and the public would understand respect flows back and forth.
Just thinking take that $170,000 and cut it pay salary of around $20,000 + $15,000 performance bonus based on an actual job well done. Take $100,000 and rebuild and rehire all necessary empty positions.
The other $35,000 + half the salary of each board member and rebate it to tax payers.
JUST THINKING!
WHAT A GREAT COUNTY THIS COULD BE, JUST THINKING!!!!!
Farewell, don't let any thing stop Your rapid lift off -- Ruler Walker!!!!!!
Just Thinking!


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

I don't know much about Mohave county politics, even though I own land here, have family here, but am retired and move around when the urge hits me, but when one resigns its either by choice or forced, might have missed the forced part in the story, so if he is leaving of his own free will, cannot see why those who dislike him so much have so much to crow about, most likely someone very much like him will take his place!

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Good Riddance

Gosh why wait until 2012 when everyone want you gone yesterday!!!
An audit needs to be done now!!!


Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: Pippi Longstocking

The end of NEXT year? Why not NOW???

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: someone in Arizona

How does someone double their salary in that amount of time? That is crazy. He has less employees and budget and way more pay. I would like to see the payroll for all his cronies that surround him. This is a great thing the only problem is they did not just decide to leave. There is a bigger picture. And it will be another year before he is gone. I wonder how much his and his cronies salaries will go up between now and then?

Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011
Article comment by: hmm time to wake up

Time to realize, a short timer even one that is leaving at the end of 18 months, is a risk. It might be cheaper to break his contract rather than keep it. He is not a people person. Even though he has, in the past, been able to keep this county in good financial order, that went out the window when he made so many people angry he felt in danger. Costing us How many thousands to put in Weapons detectors and security? He and his ridiculous dress code need to go. Just like anywhere else, if you have body parts showing that are not usually seen outside of nudey magazines then those persons should be asked to leave and let the rest of us alone.


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