Fingers point at Supervisor Buster Johnson for one-year fairgrounds lease
KINGMAN – Advocates of Cerbat Motosports and the board of the Mohave County Fairgrounds Association engaged in heated discussion last week regarding the county’s new lease with the association, and at that meeting Supervisor Gary Watson told those in attendance there is one supervisor who doesn’t want the fairgrounds to remain in Kingman.
The fair association’s new lease went into effect April 1 and is now for only one year. What that means, according to the fair association board, is that they can no longer sublet property at the fairgrounds per their contract. That drew ire from Cerbat Motosports, which installed and maintains buildings, equipment and a track at the fairgrounds.
The fair association board and Cerbat Motosports, as well as BMX advocates, hashed through some of the issues stemming from the lease at a meeting last week. While at times the discussion was heated, details were addressed as were possible solutions. A special meeting will be held April 29 to delve into the matter further.
What the issue boils down to is the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Gary Watson attended last week’s meeting where he told those asking for slight modifications to the lease that he was “lucky” to get the one-year lease. At the time, he said there was one supervisor who doesn’t want the Mohave County Fairgrounds to be successful in Kingman. While he didn’t give a name, he later told the crowd that “the gentleman you need to talk to is Supervisor Johnson ...”
Watson said he brought a lease renewal to the Board of Supervisors about five weeks ago. That lease was “designed to be 10 years and a 5 year renewal,” Watson said. “Had that occurred, many of these problems wouldn’t be existing tonight.”
The problem, Watson said, was getting unanimous approval for the lease from the supervisors.
“What occurred was one of the supervisors, from not this community, decided that he preferred to have Mohave County control the fairgrounds,” Watson said.
He then added that “We have one supervisor that doesn’t want Mohave fairgrounds successful here in Kingman. His preference is to move it, and that’s been his preference for years.”
And so the longer lease didn’t get the necessary votes, and the one-year lease came to fruition. That supervisor, according to Watson, is Buster Johnson of Lake Havasu City.
“In order for you to change the lease either to extend it or modify it, you need five votes,” Watson explained. “We have four pretty solid votes. The vote that you need is Supervisor Johnson in Lake Havasu City.”
Supervisor Johnson told The Daily Miner on Monday that, yes, he would like to see the county take control of the fairgrounds. He cited management, maintenance and clerical issues in explaining his stance. Johnson also said he would like to see the fairgrounds relocated to a new location because he believes it has outgrown the space in Kingman. However, he doesn’t believe a move is fiscally possible at this time.