Weapons, politicking policies top Monday's agenda

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br/>Mervin Fried (facing camera) talks to Channel 3-KTVK Producer Jay Crandall and Cameraman Adrian Campa in front of the Mohave County Administration Building Thursday. Fried’s attempt to enter with building with a pitchfork led to a new county policy on deadly weapons that will be discussed at Monday’s supervisors’ meeting.<br/>

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br/>Mervin Fried (facing camera) talks to Channel 3-KTVK Producer Jay Crandall and Cameraman Adrian Campa in front of the Mohave County Administration Building Thursday. Fried’s attempt to enter with building with a pitchfork led to a new county policy on deadly weapons that will be discussed at Monday’s supervisors’ meeting.<br/>

KINGMAN - With new policies prohibiting deadly weapons and politicking on county property on the agenda, the Board of Supervisors might get earful from residents during their Monday meeting.

County Manager Ron Walker announced the new policies Thursday afternoon in a video on the county's Web site.

The politicking policy is in response to a claim from Golden Valley resident Luca Zanna that his First Amendment rights were infringed on when he was asked to stop passing out flyers during a November town hall meeting for John McCain held at the County Administration Building. The county previously did not have a written policy on the matter.

According to the written policy on politicking on county property, people driving vehicles with bumper stickers or campaign signs will not be asked to leave county property as long as they are at the building to do business with the county, such as pay a tax bill or file paperwork with the elections office.

Walker has said the new gun check policy was in response to recent events around the nation and in Mohave County, where resident Mervin Fried was arrested for trespassing at a protest on Feb. 16 after attempting to enter the county building with a pitchfork.

"It's a shame that this had to come about, especially at a time when people have such little trust in their government," said District I Supervisor Gary Watson, referring to the gun check policy.

Watson said he had spoken with and been working on the problem with Zanna, before he left for knee surgery last week.

Unfortunately, things escalated while Watson was away.

"I'm not happy about it. I anticipate that people will be upset," Watson said. "This is not something that I wanted to see happen."

District III Supervisor Buster Johnson said he is just as unhappy.

"It's sad that we were forced into this," Johnson said. The protest and the pitchfork have caused a situation where county employees and members of the public are afraid. It's also placed the county in a possible legal situation if someone gets hurt.

"I have to agree with him (County Manager Ron Walker) on this one," Johnson said. "It's one thing to carry a gun, but when you display it in a way that intimidates people ..."

"I hate that it's come to this," he said.

"It's the same old story, a few people have ruined it for everyone else," said Board chairman Tom Sockwell, who added that carrying a gun into the building is a privilege. "But now we're at the point where we're getting concerned that someone might do something silly."

He said he understood why Zanna was upset but there was no reason that things needed to get out of hand like they have.

The Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.