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Fri, May 24

Are Mohave County employees paid well?
When compared to La Paz and Coconino counties, salaries aren't terrible, but some could be better

Mohave County Administrator Mike Hendrix said public defenders have resigned recently. One of which left to Coconino County which pays public defenders $23,000 more that Mohave County does. (Photo courtesy County Administrator's Office.)

Mohave County Administrator Mike Hendrix said public defenders have resigned recently. One of which left to Coconino County which pays public defenders $23,000 more that Mohave County does. (Photo courtesy County Administrator's Office.)

KINGMAN – A recent salary and benefit survey published by the Arizona Association of Counties offers a good look into our county salaries.

Compared to other counties, Mohave doesn’t look bad with its salaries usually closer to the economically booming Coconino County than to relatively underdeveloped La Paz County.

However, there are a few discrepancies that are worth looking into.

Mohave County’s salary range for deputy sheriffs is $40,539-$62,858. A La Paz deputy earns $46,261. Only Santa Cruz and Navajo counties pay their deputy sheriffs less. A Mohave County public defender makes $107,557, which is $23,000 less than the one in Coconino.

“I had two public defender resignations recently,” County Administrator Mike Hendrix said. “One of them went to Coconino.”

Hendrix admits that the sheriff has trouble attracting deputies. He is aware of the fact that decent salaries attract employees, but he works with a certain amount of revenue.

“We have difficulty competing,” he admitted. “Mohave is a medium-size county, but taxes here are low, and we watch every penny.”

On the other hand, it is almost $10,000 “better” to be a county computer technician in Mohave ($47,606) than in Coconino ($39,089). The same couldn’t be said about the vehicle and equipment supervisor position, which pays $50,825 in Mohave, $62,858 in La Paz and $65,207 in Coconino.

Public Health Program Managers in Mohave County also seem to be underpaid ($40,539) when compared with La Paz ($45,843) and Coconino ($57,023).

The Clerk of the Superior Court is also worse off ($57,500) than one in La Paz ($81,910) and in Coconino ($62,000).

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster’s salary is $100,824 and should be the same as the sheriffs in the other 15 counties, according to Arizona Revised Statute 11-419.

“We pay what we can pay,” Hendrix said. “Up until last year, we didn’t see any raises.”

But recently the county board of supervisors approved a raise for the county’s attorneys “so they would not leave.” Their salary is typically $10,000 less than in Coconino.

“We’ll continue to press for an increase,” Hendrix assured. “Mohave has a lot to offer in terms of quality of life and stable local leadership. It’s a good place to work and live.”

Editor's Note: This story was changed to clarify the salary range of Mohave County deputy sheriffs and correct the sheriff's salary at $100,824.

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