District 4 drama reaches board of supervisors’ meeting room

Krystal Gabrielson (left) and Jean Bishop

Krystal Gabrielson (left) and Jean Bishop

KINGMAN – In the latest episode of Mohave County’s political soap opera, the Board of Supervisors voted Monday to address Krystal Gabrielson’s resignation from the Planning and Zoning Commission at a later date, even though she never formally submitted her resignation.

The item was placed on the board’s consent agenda by Supervisor Jean Bishop, who was challenged by Gabrielson for the District 4 county seat in August’s primary election.

Gabrielson, a Golden Valley businesswoman, said she was surprised to see the item on the consent agenda, which is voted upon as a group with no discussion unless the item is pulled from the agenda by one of the supervisors.

“Have any of you received my letter of resignation?” Gabrielson asked the board during its public comment period. “No, because there is none. Supervisor Bishop stated she would like for me to resign voluntarily or she would embarrass me in public. Those are her words.”

Gabrielson turned in her county computer to Development Services Director Nick Hont and sent a private text message to one of the department clerks about her willingness to resign. However, she refused to sign a resignation letter drawn up by Bishop.

“Yes, I am willing to resign, but on my terms, in my own words,” she said.

Gabrielson said she’s done nothing but serve in the best interest of the community during her six years on the planning board.

“I feel it’s because I ran against her (Bishop),” Gabrielson said. “She says we’re going in opposite directions. I understand it’s a personal issue, but I’ve been bullied in public.”

Bishop said she met with Hont about the resignation, and felt that turning in the computer and writing the text message were “further indication” that Gabrielson had resigned.

In related items on the consent agenda, the board voted to postpone the resignation of Tom Beller as a member of the Mohave County Board of Adjustments, and also to postpone his appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission, replacing Gabrielson.

In other action from Monday’s regular meeting:

  • The board voted 5-0 to authorize an engineering review by Willdan Engineering on proposed lots and roads for a subdivision in the Arizona Strip town of Colorado City at a total cost of $6,000. Colorado City Mayor Joseph Allred said the town is in litigation with United Effort Plan Trust, which tried to do an “end run” around the town’s subdivision ordinance. Jethro Barlow, speaking on behalf of UEP Trust, said the two sides are essentially the same group of people with the same goal of promoting growth at a reasonable cost. He asked for a technical review of the proposed plat of lots, including input from the city, county and all interested parties. Supervisor Gary Watson said there has been “open dialogue” between Colorado City and UEP to iron out the issues.
  • The board voted 4-1 (Supervisor Buster Johnson opposed) to accept the donation of a mobile home to be used as part of Fort Mohave Community Park in Mohave Valley, and to waive 2015 personal property taxes in the amount of $77.55.

Mohave County attorney Bill Ekstrom said the physical lease has been drawn up and the process of taking in the land is under way. The county’s general liability insurance will cover the mobile home.

  • The board voted 4-1 (Johnson opposed) to revise the job description of the Public Fiduciary with added duties as accounting auditor and guardian for the Superior Court, and to change the Public Fiduciary from a manager position reporting to the Community Services Director to a director position reporting directly to the County Administrator.

Johnson said the Public Fiduciary was not hired for those extra duties, and asked who is performing them now.

  • The board unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a reduction in the number of mentally ill people in jail. Don Bischoff, county jail director, said his staff meets frequently with Mohave Mental Health and Southwest Behavioral Health to work on reducing at least one case a week.

“We try to make the best decision we can on who needs to stay in the jail system and who needs to be in a mental health system,” Bischoff said. “Everything is (on a)case by case (basis).

“It’s a team approval with the jail and medical staff working with attorneys and local mental health providers.”