Mohave officials: Hats at meetings okay; we'll get back to you on guns

BUTCH MERIWETHER/Special to the Miner<br>
Golden Valley residents Jim Kanelos, left, and Rocky Sapp were free to wear hats at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting after an unpopular dress code was voted out. A decision on removing the security checkpoint, top, at the Mohave County Administration Building is pending.

BUTCH MERIWETHER/Special to the Miner<br> Golden Valley residents Jim Kanelos, left, and Rocky Sapp were free to wear hats at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting after an unpopular dress code was voted out. A decision on removing the security checkpoint, top, at the Mohave County Administration Building is pending.

Jim Kanelos, a Golden Valley man who was once arrested for wearing a hat in the Mohave County Administration Building, celebrated the repeal of the county's dress code by popping a Stars and Stripes hat on his head after the decision Monday.

However, residents and employees will have to wait another month to find out if they can carry weapons into the building and if the security station at the front doors will disappear.

The Board voted 4 to 1 to replace the code that outlawed hats, flags, signs and clothing with profanity on it with a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" approach.

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson voted against the change, saying the previous Board received unspecified complaints from citizens.

He also noted that the county broadcasts meetings on the local cable access channel and said that the previous Board was concerned about Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Kanelos was arrested for trespassing in 2011 after he walked up to the podium during a Board meeting, plopped a hat on his head, waved an American flag and refused to remove his hat when asked. A Yuma County judge later dismissed the charges.

The Board also continued its discussion on the security station and weapons ban for another month with the stipulation that any changes wouldn't go into effect until after April 1, which would be well after a visit from Gov. Jan Brewer that is planned for March.

The county banned weapons from the administration building and installed the security checkpoint in 2010 after a Kingman man was arrested for trespassing while attempting to bring a pitchfork into the building after a protest.

"I'm still gathering information on this," said District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius. She said she had heard a lot of different opinions on the matter from the various county departments and wanted to make sure she took them all into consideration.

Johnson wants to keep the weapons ban and the security station at the entrance.

He said he had no problem with people carrying guns. In fact, when he was first elected, he supported one local citizen's right to carry a gun to Board meetings.

But after the pitchfork incident, everyone started carrying guns into the building and Johnson said eventually the Board and the different departments could no longer conduct the county's business.