Mohave County Supervisor Johnson opposes combining county economic director, PIO positions

Buster Johnson and Hildy Angius

Buster Johnson and Hildy Angius

KINGMAN – Mohave County needs a new economic development director to replace Bennett Bratley, who took a similar job with the City of Kingman, and it would be nice to have a public information officer as a central point of contact for county business.

The Board of Supervisors stopped short of combining the two positions after discussion at Monday’s regular meeting and instead directed County Manager Mike Hendrix to draft a job description for the role of communications director.

The vote was 4-1 with Supervisor Buster Johnson opposed. He didn’t see a need for a county PIO since most of the 300 press releases sent out over the last few years were mostly public safety notices.

“I don’t see that much work for somebody to do,” Johnson said via telephone. “I didn’t see it before and I don’t see it now.”

The county had a public information officer, but that person resigned over political issues and was not replaced, Supervisor Hildy Angius noted. Now would be the perfect opportunity to reinstate the position and combine it with the economic development director, she said.

“Being here a few years, we realize how important that position is, I think we all do,” Angius commented. “This person would be the point person to know where to instruct people to go, where to get information, who to talk to.”

Angius said it’s a perfect fit, but the job description may change.

“They’re not going to be out actively recruiting (business), which I didn’t see happening last time either, frankly, but I do see these two positions melding together.”

Johnson disagreed. Telling a potential business owner who’s looking at coming into Mohave County to get a hold of Planning and Zoning manager Chris Ballard “isn’t going to do it,” the supervisor said.

Angius asked County Manager Hendrix how many press releases are written by his staff. While he didn’t have a specific number, he responded that all press releases are generally drafted by his assistant, Yvonne Orr. No matter who writes the press releases, they’re first reviewed by the county manager for content and accuracy, he said.