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Sun, Oct. 13

Yavapai County: Supervisors to meet on Wednesdays in '16

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has been meeting on Mondays for at least a few decades, but that's set to change.

The board voted 4-1 Tuesday to move meetings to Wednesdays at the urging of Supervisor Jack Smith.

Smith wanted to change the date as soon as possible, but the board decided to wait until the first meeting in 2016, since some public notices already list this year's various county government meeting dates.

Noting that some county employees don't work Fridays, Smith said it can be hard to ask them questions about agenda items before Monday meetings.

Agendas and background information are generally made public on the Wednesday before the meeting. However, sometimes memos and other last-minute items show up on Monday mornings, Smith said.

Smith also noted that several federal holidays fall on Mondays, so sometimes the board has to move its meetings to Tuesday as it did this week.

The supervisors currently meet at 9 a.m. on the first Monday of the month in Prescott and the third Monday of the month in Cottonwood.

In 2016 they plan to start meeting at 9 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the same locations.

The Yavapai County Planning Commission also will have to move its meetings to accommodate the supervisors, since the commission currently meets at 9 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays in the same rooms as the supervisors.

The planning commission probably will move its dates to the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Yavapai County Development Services Director Steve Mauk said.

Supervisor Chip Davis voted against the change, saying everything seems to work just fine the way it is.

Smith later said he isn't sure how many years Yavapai County supervisors have been meeting on Mondays, but most other Arizona county supervisors meet Tuesdays.

The idea for the change has nothing to do with his full-time job at Ace Hardware, he said. If he wanted to try to make the county job more convenient for his private job, he'd ask for night meetings, he added.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board:

• Voted to prohibit county employees from using cell phones and other electronic equipment while they are driving. They still can use hands-free electronic devices while driving.

• Discussed how the federal Affordable Care Act will require the county to start providing health insurance to another 20 employees at an estimated cost of $169,000 annually, unless the employees' hours are cut.

The supervisors decided to wait to change any part-time employees' status until upcoming budget discussions.

The law requires large employers to provide health insurance coverage to employees who work an average of at least 30 hours per week.

The law also requires large employers to designate people who work at least 30 hours as full-time employees. Employees who work at least 20 hours per week for 20 weeks a year already pay into retirement benefits, Human Resources Director Wendy Ross said.

• Adopted a vision statement that says, "Yavapai County will serve and protect its citizens through efficient management of all its resources to enhance the lives of those we serve."

• Adopted a mission statement that says, "To provide for the welfare and security of the citizens of Yavapai County with effective and fiscally responsible leadership while advancing mutual cooperation between other governmental agencies."

• Agreed to transfer all park fund money to the general fund, in anticipation of the need to come up with money to build a new county jail in Prescott. The park fund money adds up to $58,680, mostly from the Verde Valley parks fund.

• Approved the low bid of $232,300 to put a new roof on the county's warehouse building in Prescott.

• Agreed to a third extension of three years for the Spring Creek Ranch development to record its second phase final plat for 52 lots on 130 acres. It's located between Cottonwood and Sedona. It sits along Spring Creek, which is fed by natural springs.

The ranch sold its 3,000 gallon-per-minute well to the City of Cottonwood, owner Eric Borowsky said Monday.

Borowsky and his partners recently sold the Arizona Snowbowl ski area near Flagstaff.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder

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