Angius scales back salary increase for economic director Bratley

Bennett Bratley

Bennett Bratley

KINGMAN – Mohave County’s economic development director will receive a 10 percent increase to his current salary of $67,496, and will report to the county manager, not Development Services, the Board of Supervisors decided Monday.

The change in salary and reporting structure for Bennett Bratley was discussed in closed session, and the initial proposal for a salary of $84,261 failed by a 2-3 vote, with Supervisors Hildy Angius, Lois Wakimoto and Buster Johnson opposed.

Angius felt the amount was “excessive” and had a problem with the economic development director not reporting to anyone but County Manager Mike Hendrix.

Johnson wanted the economic development director moved to the County Administration Building from Development Services, where he’d be closer to his boss, but Hendrix said there was no available office space at administration. He felt Bennett needed to stay where he is to be accessible to applicants at Development Services.

A new motion by Angius for the 10 percent increase and change in reporting structure was unanimously approved.

In other action from Monday’s meeting:

• Supervisors approved the appointment of three applicants to fill vacancies on the Building Code Advisory Board. Rex Ruge was appointed as a licensed architect; insurance agent Dan Renner as representative of the public; and general contractor Richard Hamilton for the remaining vacancy. Development Services Director Tim Walsh said the committee only has four of seven members allowed by state law, so they all have to show up to meet the quorum. The terms are four years, with no limit on terms.

• The board voted unanimously to approve a water agreement for Cerbat Landfill with Origin Mining at an anticipated cost of $70,000 a year. County Manager Mike Hendrix said there were minor changes made to the agreement, one with the date and the other for payment to allow the user, Gambi Disposal, to pay directly for any charges for the water.

• The board voted 4-1 (Johnson opposed) to approve a lease agreement for office space for the Mohave County Probation Department in Bullhead City. The county will lease 6,982 square feet at Bullhead Plaza for five years at a rate of $5,320 a month. Johnson wanted to know exactly what the space is used for and how many people would be working in the building. Chief probation officer Allen Palomino said current staff is at 19, with potential for 21 next year, and that the office is designed much like Kingman with a screening area, public area, interview rooms and staff and supervisor offices. It will cost about $70,000 to remodel the building, he added.

• The board unanimously approved the donation of 29 ballistic vests that are no longer deemed effective by the manufacturer to Mohave County Sheriff’s search and rescue volunteers for range use. Supervisor Angius pulled the item from the consent agenda when she read that the vests were “ineffective,” thinking that’s not something they want. The vests have 5-year warranties, but are only worn in the field for high-risk situations, Palomino noted. Angius said she just wanted to put her mind at ease.