Plan to get 'new blood' on fair committee fizzles

Bylaws virtually ensure that members keep their positions

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Fair Committee found themselves stuck in a jam Monday night. Committee member Steve Ipsen made a motion at the committee's special meeting on Oct. 1 to allow Fair Association members to vote on whom they wanted on the committee.

That motion was approved in violation of the committee's bylaws.

The fair committee is a subcommittee of the Fair Board. The Fair Board governs what events are held at the fairgrounds, maintenance, etc. The committee deals only with the planning and running of the county fair. The Fair Association is made up of people interested in helping with events and other activities at the fairgrounds and its members are approved by the board.

The committee's current bylaws allow association members to nominate people for the committee, but it does not allow association members to vote on who they want on the committee; only the committee members can vote on who gets on the committee.

At Monday night's meeting, committee member Gerald Olsen pointed out that the committee's bylaws require that any changes made to the bylaws must be published 30 days before the committee votes on the matter. The idea is to let all board, committee and association members know of the changes so they can be discussed.

No one made a motion at the Oct. 1 meeting to publish the changes, he said.

Therefore, the motion made and approved to let association members vote on committee members was made in violation of the committee's bylaws.

To complicate things further, the committee couldn't table the election of its new members because its bylaws require that a new fair committee be elected at the first regular committee meeting after the county fair, Olsen said. Monday's meeting was the first regular meeting after the fair.

Therefore, the committee couldn't go through with its plan to allow association members to vote on the new committee members Monday night. That did not go over well with some of the 30 association members who attended Monday's meeting with the hope of voting on committee members.

"We're not asking to vote on policy. We only want to vote on committee members," said one association member.

Another association member pointed to a letter she received from the committee saying association members would be able to vote at Monday's meeting.

"We didn't go through the proper procedures," said committee member Susan Pherigo.

Committee Chairman James Guillot pointed out that the committee had talked about making the change in August, but no one made a motion until Oct. 1.

Committee Vice Chairman Carmen Haack asked if the committee's bylaws were valid since there seemed to be two different copies of the bylaws.

Olsen assured her that the latest copies of the bylaws were submitted and approved by the Fair Board.

One association member suggested tabling the election for 60 days and publishing both the changes to the bylaws and the change in the election.

Ipsen pointed out that the bylaws prevented the committee from tabling the election.

Pherigo made a motion to follow the committee's current bylaws and elect the new committee.

"You've got a very serious situation here. I think you can solve this problem tonight," said District I Supervisor Gary Watson.

"I am going to make sure this is the last time we have this problem," Ipsen said. He promised the association members that if he was re-elected to the committee, he would make a motion to change the bylaws. "However, we're stuck with the bylaws that are in effect right now."

"We're not getting anywhere with this. Let's move on to the election," Guillot said.

At that point, the committee started taking nominations for committee members from the crowd. Guillot was re-elected chair of the committee. Carmen Haack was re-elected as vice chair. Georgianna Rosencrans was re-elected treasurer. Krista Yokley was elected secretary.

"I think what has happened tonight is total BS," said association member Monica Busch, "You owe the community an apology. This is a joke as far as I'm concerned." She then left the room to a round of applause.