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Supervisors to discuss open meeting violation

November 3, 2018 GMT

KINGMAN — The Mohave County supervisors will discuss Monday the violation the open meeting law dealing with a Mohave Valley park.

The county supervisors will discuss the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Oct. 23 ruling on the violation of the open meeting law on a vote made by the board at a Dec. 18, 2017, meeting.

The vote amended an agreement between the county and the Mohave Valley/Fort Mohave Community Park committee, which stated that the park would complete all improvements to the park, then lease the park to the county for 25 years.

The language of the original agreement was changed in one paragraph, deleting a time frame requirement that had read that the improvements had to be done within 12 months of the agreement. In that 2015 agreement, the county contributed $250,000 for improving the park, which was built off Laguna Road near River Valley High School. The park officially opened in December 2015.

District 3 Sup. Buster Johnson of Lake Havasu City filed a complaint in January, arguing that the supervisors extended an expired agreement, which he claimed was done illegally. The Dec. 18, 2017, discussion by the board on the item had nothing to do with the park agreement resulting in the violation of the open meeting law.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Ryan Esplin argued that the supervisors provided proper notice to the public of the possible change to the park agreement and the supervisors complied with the terms of the open meeting law when they changed the agreement at that December 2017 meeting.

The Attorney General’s Office ruled that the language on the regular agenda for the Dec. 18, 2017, meeting stated to continue the item and did not match the supervisor’s actual vote to amend the agreement. The language on the agenda for the Dec. 18, 2017, meeting read the same as the item on the agenda for the Nov. 20, 2017, meeting to continue the item to a December meeting.

Esplin said the board could either ratify the Attorney General’s Office ruling, which would keep the agreement in place, or the board could not ratify the agreement, which would nullify the change to the agreement.

The board of supervisors will meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the county administration building at 700 W. Beale St. in Kingman.