County could go to five supervisors ... in 2012

Less than 4,000 people to go

KINGMAN - Mohave County residents may be voting for five supervisors in 2012. The U.S. Census recently released figures estimating the county's 2008 population at 196,281.

In order to have a five-supervisor board, the county needs a population of 200,000.

"We'll have to wait until the 2010 Census is finished in 2011," said County Elections Director Allen Tempert.

He plans to start working on designing the five-supervisor district as soon as he has census information.

Tempert doesn't expect the redistricting of the county to cost much. Employees in the Elections and Voter Registration departments will do most of the work, although the county may hire some outside consultants to help. Tempert also plans to ask for input from the different political parties.

The Board won't be the only thing Tempert will have to redistrict for the 2012 election. State statute requires him to adjust the districts for the Mohave Community College Board and the justice of the peace offices.

He also expects to have to redraw some voting precinct lines in the county and the cities due to the increase in population.

According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in Mohave County increased from 155,032 in 2000 to 196,281 in 2008.

"I'm quite optimistic that we will hit that number," said District I Supervisor Gary Watson.

"I think it will be great. It'll give a different dynamic to the Board."

Right now, the three supervisors cannot discuss any topics that might be on the Board of Supervisor's agenda outside of their regular meetings, he said. That includes discussing items by telephone or by e-mail.

This is because the Arizona Open Meetings Law requires the public to be notified whenever a quorum of Board members meets. A quorum of the current Board is two members.

"It will give us a chance to bounce ideas off each other," Watson said. It will also create smaller supervisor districts, which should give residents better representation at the county level, he said.

The Board did have five members several years ago. According to the County Clerk, the Board changed from three to five members in 1985. Voters then changed the size of the Board back to three in 1993.

Supervisors Tom Sockwell and Buster Johnson were unavailable Tuesday.