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Mon, Dec. 09

Changes in Mohave County chain of command eyed
Savings seen if supervisors get rid of deputy managers

Former county manager, Ron Walker

Former county manager, Ron Walker

Mohave County could save more than $272,417 a year, if the Board of Supervisors decides to eliminate the four deputy county manager positions Monday.

The supervisors will also talk about the search for a new county manager and a change in the county manager's duties.

If the Board approves the elimination of the deputy manager positions:

• The $137,280 annual salary for deputy county manager for Development Services position would be eliminated and the current Development Services manager, Mike Hendrix, would take over as acting county manager.

• As acting county manager, Hendrix would make $144,144 per year. That's an increase from his deputy county manager position but a $26,644 cut in pay from former County Manager Ron Walker's annual salary of $170,788.

• The current Deputy County Manager for Justice Services Dana Hlavac would return to his former position as the county's public defender and have his annual salary drop to $134,992.

• The current public defender would be moved back to his position as a regular defense attorney and the salary for the position would drop by $27,248.

• Deputy County Manager for Health and Community Services Susie Parel-Duranceau would move back to her position as community development manager but her salary would stay the same - $137,280 per year.

• Deputy County Manager for Management Services John Timko's salary would also stay the same because he is under a contract with the county.


The county created the deputy county manager positions during a reorganization of the county's departments in 2009. The reorganization consolidated 17 different county departments into four management teams - Criminal Justice Services, Development Services, Management Services and Health and Community Services - each headed by a deputy county manager who reported directly to the county manager. Each of the four department heads who were chosen to step into the deputy county manager positions received a raise.

Walker touted the reorganization as a way to save the county around $560,000 by eliminating seven unfilled positions and streamlining county offices.

At the time, the Board voted 2 to 1 to approve the reorganization. District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson was the lone dissenting vote.

New manager

The Board will also discuss starting the search for a new county manager. The search will be funded with money from a "county manger position salary savings fund." If the fund is approved by the Board, it will hold the savings from having Hendrix serve as acting county manager at his current salary of more than $137,000 instead of serving at Walker's former salary of more than $170,000, said County Finance Director John Timko. At the end of Hendrix's six-month contract, the fund should hold more than $13,300.

"I doubt we'll use all that money," Timko said. Any remaining money after the search is finished would go to paying the new county manager's salary.

The Board will also approve a contract with Hendrix to serve as acting county manager until a new manager can be found.

According to information provide to the Board, Hendrix's contract will last six months or until a permanent county manager is hired, which ever comes first. The contract can be extended by the Board if necessary.

The contract also states that Hendrix is free to apply for the county manager's position and if he is not chosen he will be offered a position as assistant county manager to help the new county manager.

If Hendrix doesn't take the assistant county manager position, he will be offered his old position and salary as county engineer.

New duties

The Board will also consider revising some of the duties of the county manager. Some of the changes include noting that the county manager "shall" serve at the pleasure of the Board, removing a requirement that the Board call a special meeting in order to take disciplinary acting against the county manager, and removing a section that would penalize the county supervisors or their staff for talking to county employees who work for the county manager.

The Board meets at 9:30 a.m. today at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

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