Will the newly elected do as they promised?
Before we know it, the general election will be upon us and only then, the long, drawn-out 2012 election process can be put to bed and those newly elected or re-elected people who will be serving in Mohave County will be sworn into office Jan. 2.
However, Mohave County can't even begin the daunting task of printing up the general election ballots and getting those ballots into the mail to those who requested them because, as of three days after the primary, they are still attempting to process mail-in, early voting and provisional ballots. What this means to the county's election department is they honestly don't know the winner of certain close local races.
But when the final gavel is slammed down in Mohave County by Elections Director Allen Tempert, the last ballot will have been cast and the polls closed at 7 p.m., Nov. 6, hopefully the results will soon afterward start trickling out to the general public.
I bet some candidates hate having to wait to see if they need to go out into Mohave County to retrieve their campaign signs that are only allowed to be in place for 10 days after the primary if they lost their bid to become an elected official. However some, if lucky enough, are euphoric knowing they will be able to leave them up until after the general election.
Yes, there will be immediate celebrations directly after the general election throughout the United States and especially here in Mohave County if the process doesn't have another snafu like what occurred locally at the various polling places, such as Littlefield, because of antiquated analog phone line system of electronically transferring data to the elections department slowed down to a snail's pace. And of course, I don't think anyone one can forget Florida with the now-infamous dangling chads in which the Supreme Court ultimately had to determine the winner between George Bush and Al Gore. I can guarantee you there will be those who will be euphoric and those who will cry foul because they will not be happy with the election results.
I say right up front that some people and I are not satisfied with the results of certain races, but we have to succumb to the fact the people have spoken, even if only about 22 percent of the more than 111,000 registered Mohave County voters turned out to cast their vote in the Aug. 28 primary.
I honestly believe I heard more than 22 percent of the people in the county complain about how our local government has been run in the past and about some self-serving elected and condescending officials, but as the old saying goes, "If you don't vote, you can't complain" about how our government runs.
Yes, I would like to send out proverbial congratulations to all those people new to the political arena who were elected in the primary and to those incumbents who also were reelected, and will return to public office.
However, there are some of those who achieved greatness during the primary election by outdistancing their opponents even by the smallest margin, but have to continue their campaigns against others into the general election.
Before we know it, November's general election will be upon us and only then, the entire 2012 election process will be over and the newly elected or reelected people will take office.
The main thing all of those in the primary who were victorious and those who will ultimately be elected in the general election must realize is what they said during their campaign treks throughout our county, during the various meet and greets and during the debates hosted by many organizations throughout the year.
Hopefully the newly elected people will do as they said they will do if elected and not conveniently suffer a memory loss once in office.
Well, I'm going to help those candidates who may ultimately suffer memory loss about what they said and/or promised during their campaign. Granted, some of the candidates were more nebulous than others what they would do, but the astounding majority did promise specific things.
I guess my memory is actually pretty much intact because I recall most campaign promises by candidates that I hope will be instituted or voted into existence. They included, but weren't limited to:
A forensic audit of the past Mohave County finance practices in order to determine if any laws or regulations were violated with the county's finance practices.
Do away with the dress code inspired by Mohave County Manager Ron Walker. Most of the candidates believe the dress code was one the most stupid rules the county has ever instituted for a BOS meeting.
They would ensure status quo would not continue even though certain incumbents would want it.
Institute "The Call To The Public" so residents will have an opportunity to express their concerns and suggestions to the Supervisors because they believe that many residents' requests to have certain items placed on the BOS' agenda for their meetings have mostly fallen on deaf ears in the past.
The BOS meetings would be conducted twice per month - one during the morning such as they currently have and the other during the evening so residents do not have to take off time from work to attend.
They would have an open-door policy so residents can just stop by to chat with their supervisors.
They would institute "sensitivity training" classes for all employees so they will understand that the residents pay their salaries and they should treat all residents with compassion and dignity when dealing with them.
That the newly-hired county manager understands he is responsible to his bosses - the BOS, instead of him believing they work for him.
That there will be a total transparency within Mohave County government and there will be no hint of impropriety in county business.
Change the county's procurement regulations to conform to ARSs.
That all county employees be made aware that Arizona Revised Statutes require them to file a disclosure statement if they or one of their family members conduct business with the county, and if they violate the ARS, it would be grounds for immediate termination.
They would initiate an investigation by Mohave County Attorney's office to determine if Mohave County PIO Darylle Purcell violated county merit rules by turning over a detailed investigative file on a resident in hopes of helping Supervisor Tom Sockwell's reelection bid and damaging the campaign of Hildy Angius, who was running against Sockwell. Angius won, by the way.
They will initiate action to do away with Mohave County Public Information position and, because Darylle Purcell is an at-will-employee, he will be notified his services with the county are no longer needed.
; That all employees of Mohave County be made aware that for them to use their office and authority to slander and needlessly investigate private citizens will not be tolerated.
One of the biggest promises made by the various candidates running for Mohave County Supervisor was, if elected, they would ensure the entire fiasco of the alleged cover up of Mohave County Risk Manager Richard Weldon and Human Resources Benefit Trust Worker Margaret Renner situation would be investigated by the Mohave County Attorney's office instead of the in-house investigation that had conducted by the county manager and human resources department. Besides that, the candidates want to read the entire file produced by the private investigator from southern Arizona the county hired to conduct the investigation in regard to Weldon and Renner.
Hildy Angius, Liz Albright, Joy Brotherton and Steve Moss, in addition to a few others who were not lucky enough to win during the primary and will not be advancing to the general election, want to get to the bottom of the Weldon and Renner situation to determine why there was a rapid departure from employment of the two long-time employees by allowing them to resign. Some of those candidates also have said both privately and publically, that if there was criminal activity involved, criminal charges should be brought against the two former county employees and they should be prosecuted to the fullest. Some of the candidates even went on to indicate that if certain officials within the county covered up the true reason and it was determined to be either criminal or violation of county regulations, the perpetrators of the cover up should have their employment terminated. They indicated that if the perpetrator of the cover-up had retired by the time they take office and the county was deemed to be a victim, they would immediately seek to have that person's retirement taken away from them.
The various candidates also promised to make public why Weldon and Renner were allowed to resign even though rumors have run rampant throughout the county, even by county employees, that they allegedly misappropriated thousands of dollars from county funds. One candidate actually said, "All of it (the Weldon and Renner situation) would come out in January."
Yes, there seems to be more rumors flying about the married couple than drum sticks being sold at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Of course, the current powers-to-be within Mohave County administration continue to say they will not discuss employee matters, but they quickly forget County Manager Ron Walker released an entire 1-inch thick file with investigative documents and photographs in 2002 in regard to Supervisor Buster Johnson and his alleged sexual harassment and pornography on his county computer. I guess the way the wind blows determines what they will or will not release to the general public.
When the Supervisors open their offices up for business on Jan. 2, they must remember that what they say and do will be watched through a giant microscope by the residents who voted them into office.
If the Supervisors violate county regulations, if there is a resurgence of condescending behavior as in the past, if they engage in self-serving adventures that do not benefit the residents of Mohave County as a whole, and they do not do as they promised the voters during their campaigns, they must realize it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that there could be a recall movement to oust them.
And last but not least, I honestly hope the people who were not successful in their campaign bid will continue to be involved in federal, state and county goings-on even if from the periphery. If they were serious enough about wanting to serve in an elected position, then they should be serious enough to stay involved.