Column: Why upset the apple cart?

Man oh man. If the comments at kdminer.com are a true representation of the sentiment throughout the county concerning Mohave County Manager Ron Walker retaining his position for another year and a half, then he's the most despised person in local government. For the life of me, I can't understand where all this anger is coming from. What has the guy done to elicit such vitriol?

I think it stems from jealousy. People are jealous of his power, and many are jealous of his money. The guy pulls in a lousy $175,000+ a year. That's gross, not net. He's lucky if he takes home $150,000+ after taxes. You try to survive on that. A family of two would be hard pressed to make ends meet on those wages. Break it down and it's even harder to swallow. Let's see ... about $14,000 a month. Oh, jeez. That's just $3,500 a week! In this economy? This guy's a steal.

Residents' perception problem may be due to their ignorance concerning "taxpayer" money. I'll try to explain it like Walker County Manager (my pet name for him, like Walker Texas Ranger) would if he was writing this column today. You see, taxpayer money is only taxpayer money up until the time the county takes it from you. You pay as a taxpayer, but the county receives not one penny of taxpayer dollars. As soon as they take it, those funds become "county" money, which in no way relates to taxpayer dollars. I know, it can be a confusing concept to grasp. Let's try an example.

Say I'm a puny little runt with an apple. As I hold the apple in my hand, it is my apple. When the bully comes along and snatches the apple out of my hand, the apple is no longer my apple. I might think it's still my apple, but there's no way he's going to give the apple back to me, and if I tried to grab the apple, he'd pound my worthless hide, so the apple is now his apple ... and he'll expect more apples in the future, which I'll reluctantly hand over to keep from being throttled.

Now, we'll take the above example and apply it to, say, security upgrades in the county administration building, or what I prefer to call the Ronnie Eugene Walker Memorial Mohave County Administration Building. So the county takes your apple and places it in a huge basket with lots of other apples from other "taxpayers." Then Walker convinces his assistants, the elected members of the Board of Supervisors, to give him a bunch of the apples so he can throw them at you and all other residents. Have you got it now? No? See, you're the puny little ... oh, nevermind. Let's talk about his accomplishments.

There's so many of them, I don't know where to start. Let's see ... oh, yeah, there was Rhodes. Remember when Walker took a ride in the Vegas developer's helicopter that one time, then sent that letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission urging them to vote in Rhodes' favor, and Walker even included his letter to Rhodes asking Rhodes to write the ACC letter for him. That was great. We all enjoyed a hearty laugh over that one. Good times.

But that was years ago. Walker has done a bunch of stuff since then. Remember The Great Pitchfork Incident, when Walker single-handedly had a resident arrested for trying to bring a pitchfork into a BOS meeting. Had he not been there that day, I cringe to think what could have happen. Someone could have gotten poked. A really bad poke. To this day, I cry like a baby when I see hay stacked up in a field, realizing what might have been had Walker County Manager not been on the scene.

But Walker didn't stop there. He took everyone's guns away, then he took their hats. Some say he also took resident's pride and respect, but there's no proof of that. King Walker (I like to call him that as well) was also instrumental in making sure poor seniors didn't get a free ride. He found a much better use for the money in security upgrades like a metal detector, security officers and gun lockers. And people say this guy hasn't done anything? What planet do you live on?

Let's not forget his poetic response after a resident was caught handing out pamphlets on public property. His beautiful words still dance around in my ears. "Is 'you people' insulting? I think not. Since I'm from Texas, I guess the fellow would have been insulted as well if he and his entourage were addressed as 'you all' (actually y'all). If he found that an insult too, I hope he doesn't travel to Texas and take offense to the expression. If so, I'm sure he will get a convincing down-home culture lesson. Plus, if an Army veteran wanted to verbally insult someone, I doubt "you people" would be his choice. As an ex-Navy man, I know I could think of some better insults." And he has. Walker has insulted both residents and county employees alike. He's an equal-opportunity insulter. That's rare these days.

And I seem to remember another king who was despised by his subjects. All the great things he tried to do were constantly misinterpreted by the masses. Maybe you've heard of him - King George V. Yeah. That king. Remember him? He just created America, that's all. No big deal. I can't remember exactly what happened with that, but I know he was instrumental in the birth of our nation, which makes Walker the king of our afterbirth. Royalty, indeed.

Residents online are urging everyone to attend the meeting to renew King Walker's contract at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the County Administration Building located in downtown Kingman, just take a left off Andy Devine Avenue onto Old Route 66 right before you get to the history museum, if you hit Beale you've gone too far, look for the huge building before you get to the new jail - why would anyone want to go do that? All the juicy stuff, like when the supervisors pat Walker on the back and tell him what a great job he's doing, congratulate him for treating the public worse than they themselves do, share a laugh on how they were able to reduce their scheduled meetings without affecting their pay - that's all going to be behind closed doors. All residents will see is the unanimous vote to keep Walker on with his golden parachute intact. No fun in that.

No, stay home or work your job, confident in the knowledge that your county government has everything under control. Remember, an apple a day keeps the residents at bay. Just hand over your apple and keep your mouths shut.

There's no reason to upset the cart.