New Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould at odds with board majority
Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould, District 5, jumped into his first meeting Monday morning immediately after being sworn into the new position.
The Mohave County Board of Supervisors often saw 4-1 votes, with Buster Johnson, District 3, a lone dissenting voice. On Monday, Gould seemed more in line with Johnson’s votes than with the other three supervisors, Hildy Angius, Jean Bishop and Gary Watson.
Gould said he’s known Johnson for 25 years and while they sometimes agree and sometimes disagree on certain issues, they work well together because they never take their disagreements personally.
Gould said it’s too early to say whether that line of voting will become a pattern.
“I guess we’ll find that out as time goes on, whether it’s regional or differences of opinion,” Gould said. “Generally Lake Havasu City has gotten very little services from the county.”
He said the county seems to be “Kingman centric,” and a lot of services provided in Havasu come from city government, not the county.
Programs paid by county taxpayers seem to only be put forth in Kingman instead of countywide, Gould said, adding as an example that the Health Department goes into only schools in Kingman to provide education.
“I’d like to see that spread out through the whole county,” Gould said.
Supervisors on Monday were at odds about who should replace Lois Wakimoto as the county representative on three boards. Wakimoto, former District 5 supervisor, served on the Clean Colorado River Sustainability Coalition, the Mohave County Water Authority and the Mohave/La Paz Local Workforce Investment Board.
Before supervisors voted to appoint Gould to the three boards to replace Wakimoto, Angius said Watson should be on the Water Authority board. The board had a 3-2 vote against Gould replacing Wakimoto on all three boards, with Gould and Johnson voting in favor and Angius, Watson and Bishop voting against the motion. The three voted in favor of Gould representing the county on two of the boards but having Watson replace Wakimoto on the Water Authority board for six months.
During the meeting, Angius said she wanted to give Gould time to be up to speed on water issues in the county before he served on the Water Authority board. Gould said he wants to serve on the board because it would be important to his constituents. He said when he was in the state Senate he served on committees that dealt with water.
“I believe that I have the experience to come up to speed,” he said. “I’ve dealt with the Mohave County Water Authority before as a legislator. They have some problems, and I want to address those problems and it’s a lot easier to address those problems if I’m a member of their board.”
Gould said he was saddened with the majority of the board’s decision to have Watson serve on the Water Authority board.
During his term, Gould said he will try to stabilize the county’s economy. He said in his 25 years as a Mohave County resident, he’s seen the county zigzag between being broke and having a lot of money and going on a spending spree. That pattern doesn’t help the economy, and it might scare businesses from opening or moving to the county, he said.
He also plans to focus on using highway revenue money to fix county roads and making sure the county sheriff department is better staffed.