Mohave County Board of Supervisors to consider rotating meeting locations
What goes around could come around again, after a discussion today of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors.
Mohave County’s governing board will discuss the possibility of reinstituting the practice of holding its meetings in rotation between the cities of Kingman, Bullhead and Lake Havasu. “Rotating meetings” were first instituted in Mohave County in 2001, but were abandoned in 2006. Mohave County Supervisor HIldy Angius attempted to reinstitute meetings in each of the county’s three largest municipalities in 2013, during her first term. This March, Supervisor Ron Gould prompted his fellow supervisors to once again consider holding such meetings throughout the county.
“It’s a big county,” Gould said Thursday. “Our supervisors meetings take place at 9:30 a.m. - it’s not the most convenient time for county residents to drive all the way to Kingman. We ought to take our meetings to the people we represent … You could fit the entire Mohave County Board of Supervisors in one compact car.“
Supervisor Buster Johnson first proposed the county’s former practice of rotating board meetings nearly 20 years ago, and he supports Gould’s proposal to bring it back.
“We did it for a long time,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have video conferencing back then, but people could always address their local supervisors anytime. We thought it would give people a chance to meet their department heads, and we thought it worked out really well.”
It was once the board’s practice to rent vans, Johnson said, to transport supervisors and county staff to meeting spaces throughout Mohave County, and it was rarely as expensive as it sounded.
“They work a government job. They don’t work in a factory,” Johnson said. “It brings an opportunity to an area where people can see the upper management, so to speak, rather than drive 60 miles from Havasu to Kingman. With Havasu paying the lion’s share of taxes in Mohave County - even if no one showed up at the meeting at least we’d be here. Sometimes it’s better to see supervisors face-to-face than on YouTube.”
Mohave County staff investigated the feasibility of holding such meetings throughout the county, as well as in Colorado City. According to County Assistant Manager Yvonne Orr, the cities of Bullhead and Lake Havasu would each offer facilities to use on the first and third Mondays of each month. They would also be able to provide an executive meeting room; and allow board members to call in remotely, if necessary.
Lake Havasu City facilities, however, would not be able to provide live-streaming of the meeting, but equipment would be available to upload such footage to YouTube after the meeting’s end.
The fiscal impact of rotating meetings, however, would include staff salaries, vehicles, meals, lost productivity among county employees and estimated costs of travel. County staff predict an hourly cost of about $2,800 to the county, per meeting.