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Mohave County Supervisor wants oversight improvements

January 6, 2019

According to Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, not all of the county’s committees have been following the rules when it comes to their meetings.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will discuss a proposal by Johnson next week to consider adding an additional staff member to the Clerk of the Board’s Office in next year’s budget. According to the proposal, the new staff member would post agendas, take minutes and post action agendas for all county boards and commissions – as is required under Arizona law. The motion would also direct staff to work with the County Attorney’s Office to ensure that an attorney will be sitting in on all board meetings.

“These committees have to have a clerk take the minutes from their meetings, and a county attorney is supposed to be there to ensure open meetings laws are being recognized,” Johnson said. “I’ve seen a lot of problems with committees not posting their minutes or opening their meetings to the public. We should make sure that everyone’s following the rules.”

Johnson sited county boards and committees such as the Mohave County Employee Benefit Trust as one such entity.

“Like anything else, everything started with good intentions, with people following the rules,” Johnson said. “But as time goes on, people start getting more and more lax as the rules aren’t enforced. Things could go wrong and that’s where things start to become noticeable. Some things slide theough the cracks, and some people aren’t familiar with how government meetings are supposed to be run.”

According to Johnson, the board’s decision could affect whether new staff members will be added to the Clerk of the Board’s office, or if employees already working part-time within the office would be elevated to full-time positions. It is a discussion Johnson intends to have with the clerk after the Board’s vote on the matter.

Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius is chairwoman of the Employee Benefit Trust committee. According to Angius, meetings have both been open to the public and overseen by legal professionals.

“We’re going to talk about our upcoming EBT meeting on Monday,” Angius said. “People can come and be a part of it. Our meetings don’t always lend themselves to additional seating, but we can still record meetings, or whatever the board wants to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what Supervisor Johnson has to say.”

Mohave County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Ginny Anderson declined to comment on the agenda item.

The discussion will be held at the board’s Jan. 7 meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m.

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