Hamlyn in crowded D4 race

Earl Hamlyn

Earl Hamlyn

Nine years of volunteering for the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission has not quenched Earl Hamlyn's thirst to help the people of Mohave County.

He's signed up for the competition for the new District 4 Supervisors seat. He'll be competing for the Republican nomination against six other Republicans: Bob Boyd, Joy Brotherton, Curtis Cutshaw, Robert Lane, Ted Roper and Rick Sherwood. If he makes it past the primary, he'll be competing against three independents (Liz Albright, James Clark and John Ford) and one Democrat, Norty Turchen, in November's general election.

"I can do this job. I've got the experience," Hamlyn said. "I've worked with the Board of Supervisors. I want to make this a better county.

"I think we need a leader. The key to being a leader is knowing how and when to act."

He wants to use a similar approach as county supervisor as he did when he served as the chairman of the planning and zoning commission.

"I will represent my district, but I also want to focus on the county as a whole," he said. "I want to help the public. That's what an elected official is supposed to do."

One of the changes he has in mind is moving the county to a four-day workweek with longer business hours. This would allow residents to pay their property taxes, request permits and do other county business without having to take time off of work.

He pointed to Utah's four-day workweek as a successful and money-saving example.

Hamlyn said he would return the Call to the Public to county meetings, but only if the public didn't abuse it.

The Call to the Public allows citizens to bring issues that are not on the agenda to the attention of a government board or commission during their regular meetings, although board or commission members usually can't address the issues at the meeting.

A number of local governments, such as Kingman City Council, have a Call to the Public.

"I think it's a useful tool, but it's a privilege, not a right," Hamlyn said.

He voted to remove it from the planning and zoning commission meetings in 2009 because members of the commission and the public had complained to him about the comments made during the Call to the Public.

The Board of Supervisors has not had a Call to the Public listed on their agenda for more than six years.

"It was the attitude of some members of the public," Hamlyn said. "They wanted a free forum, but the law doesn't allow us to have one - everything has to be on an agenda. We couldn't even answer them if we wanted to."

He also wants the supervisors, county manager and all county department heads to meet with the public in an open forum at least four times a year. In addition, he favors doing away with the security guards at county buildings as well as the dress code for the public at meetings.

In order to help the community, Hamlyn would require county offices to purchase supplies from businesses within Mohave County, expand the hazardous waste-pick up program and restructure the Mohave County Fair Board.

He is also against raising property taxes and the cost of permit fees.

Hamlyn would also push for the county to take control of its groundwater from the state.

The use of the area's limited groundwater supplies by developers has been a big issue with residents in the past.

Hamlyn disagrees with the way the county general plan was revised a few years ago.

The general plan helps the county decide where to put new residential and commercial development.

It's supposed to be a guide, he said. It's supposed to be able to change with the growth of the county.

But the way the Board and County Manager Ron Walker pushed through the changes was wrong because the process didn't have enough public input, Hamlyn said.

The county did hold at least three public hearings on the changes to the plan and collected input from the public, but very little of that input was taken into account.

He's also called for Walker's resignation.

"His reaction to the public has been very unprofessional," he said. "But we need a county manager to run the day-to-day business of the county. Supervisors are there to set policy. The county manager is there to run the county business."

Hamlyn didn't list anyone in particular or any particular characteristics for a new county manager.

"There are so many good people out there that could fill the job," he said. "I know what I don't want."

He recognizes that he will not always agree with the other supervisors, the county manager, department heads or even the public.

He learned this as a commissioner.

"Occasionally, you have to say no, but you also have to try and help people get what they want," he said.