My open Letter to District 4 Supervisor Jean Bishop regarding roads

In response to my request for comments regarding my post Who filled the potholes on Rose? LMC and Unit 7 road update I had several emails with District 4 Supervisor Jean Bishop.  This open letter is my most recent response and summarizes the issues.

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Ms. Bishop,

What do you mean I “claim” ownership?

As District 4 supervisor, are you NOT aware that EVERYBODY in LMC and Unit 7 owns their roads?

This bizarre and life threatening road situation affects many property owners outside Kingman city limits in YOUR District 4. Probably all those 1+ acre lots in the Dolan Springs and Meadview subdivisions are set up with the roads included in the private property.

Since it appears that you do not understand the issues, I’ll summarize the situation for you:

  • Many homeowners in your District 4 OWN the roads.
  • The COUNTY approved these subdivisions.
  • The COUNTY refuses to maintain the roads.
  • The COUNTY refuses to CLEAR the “county maintained” roads such as Charles immediately after destructive flash floods, endangering the residents’ lives as emergency vehicles can’t get to their houses and even trucks can’t get OUT to Pierce Ferry.

You stated that “the owner of the road, in this case – you would be legally liable” if someone gets hurt on “my” road.

I asked “since I can get SUED, can I put up a gate and close the road?”

You responded stating “since you claim ownership of the road in question, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney for legal advice.”

Ms. Bishop, I’m not going to pay for legal advice unless I sue the County and/or you.

I have purchased several properties in District 4 and it was never disclosed to me that I could get SUED if someone got hurt on “my” road, which we are NOT legally allowed to block off as the public has an easement to use our roads.

Nor did anyone disclose that we are risking our lives living here because emergency vehicles may not be able to assist with life threatening emergencies for several days after storms.

This is a material omission and all real estate agents need to DISCLOSE the road dangers and liabilities to potential buyers.

Will you help raise awareness?

  • Will you assist me with getting the word out, such as with a COUNTY press release advising all real estate agents that they MUST disclose to potential buyers that they will risk their lives and livelihood when they purchase property here?
  • Can you provide guidance to property owners, such as what kind of maintenance they should perform and how often to avoid getting a giant judgment against them because someone got hurt or killed on their road?
  • Don’t you agree that ALL absentee owners should be notified by the County to ensure that the owners hire people to make the roads safe?  These absentee owners can not possibly know about their obligations and the risks involved with owning land here.

There are so many roads that are NOT passable (even with 4WD), not to mention all the roads that are barely passable.

It is so important that you finally get a grip on the issues the residents in your district are struggling with.

Mr. Bishop, it’s been a year since the catastrophic storms last summer and you have done nothing for us. I’m going to send out press releases, letters to editors, lawyers, etc. to inform the public and especially people considering moving to one of the planet’s most beautiful deserts — MOHAVE COUNTY. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most corrupt and mismanaged counties and ill served by overpaid “DO NOTHING” elected officials like you.

Please FINALLY start doing your job and work for the District 4 residents.

Prepare a plan to fix this life threatening road situation and keep me informed so that my publications accurately reflect your positions and activities.

I just searched the web for any kind of online information about your opinions, priorities, goals and possibly even accomplishments, but I found NOTHING but a link to Facebook — where you had the audacity to block me.

It might be in your interest to unblock me on Facebook if you’re not the “DO NOTHING” supervisor you’re known as around here.   Did you discuss with your attorney the legality of blocking residents in your district on Facebook?

I recommend that you search the web for “legality elected official blocking on social media” and found numerous very relevant and interesting articles.  Here’s one:

https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2017/03/17/public-officials-who-block-social-media-accounts-may-be-running-afoul-of-the-law:

Interesting report from Miami on an effort to stop a Florida politician from blocking critics from his Facebook page. It includes this:

Courts have repeatedly ruled that elected officials who discuss public matters on social media accounts are not allowed to block people or delete posts they don’t like, because those pages are used to disseminate public information. Courts have also ruled that politicians’ social accounts become public records once they use those pages to discuss official business.

Thank you,

Christine Baker


Sad fact:

While they won’t even give us a few loads of DIRT, the County actually paved roads in Meadview last year — excellent dirt roads used by maybe 5 cars/day.  The ultimate insult!

6 Responses to My open Letter to District 4 Supervisor Jean Bishop regarding roads

  1. Does this apply only to LMC and unit 7 or all of Meadview?? Why is the county maintaining town and not the outside units?

    • Of course I’ll be posting the reply. I think that all these subdivisions including Dolan Springs except for the “town” are set up like this. In Unit 4 I’m told one guy does all the grading and the roads are smooth as a baby’s butt.

      The County maintains the town roads because the developer(s) set it up that way. They initially got the roads up to standard and then the county took over. The developers were so clever, set up the initial fire district with only a few properties in it just so that they could sell more lots! Oh yeah, we have a fire house! BS BS BS

  2. Didn’t hear from Ms. Bishop for a couple of weeks, finally sent another email and then promptly got a response from deputy county attorney Ryan Esplin:

    Ms. Christine Baker:

    I am the Deputy County Attorney responsible for advising the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. I am in receipt of your emails, dated June 26, 2017 and July 10, 2017, wherein you pose various questions to Supervisor Bishop about civil liability and road maintenance. Specifically, you asked the following questions:

    1. “When people park on MY road (I own it) and an old lady falls into one of those holes, who is liable?”
    2. “My next question, since I can get SUED, can I put up a gate and close the road?”

    On July 10, 2017, you asked Ms. Bishop to place two issues on the Board of Supervisor Agenda:

    1. Mohave County property owners’ liability for the condition of roads NOT county maintained.
    2. Your blocking of all inquiring minds on Facebook and the legal ramifications. You operate like an Empress with nothing but disrespect for the people you represent.

    I know that Supervisor Bishop certainly respects the opinions of her constituents, and she works diligently to listen and address the needs of Mohave County residents. She has asked that I address some of the concerns you have raised in your emails.

    Regardless of the position, there are limits to what an elected official or an employee can do for the public. For example, many times it take a majority of elected officials on a board to pass legislation, and in some instances, it take a unanimous vote of a Board in to accomplish some issues.

    One way in which Supervisor Bishop and all county employees, including myself, are limited is in the ability to administer or give legal advice. Because of ethical and legal considerations, the County is unable to provide legal advice to you, and I am prohibiting from establishing an attorney-client privilege with you (with very limited exceptions). We can provide information to you, but when it comes to providing advice about the law and how to proceed with legal action, that is best left to you seeking advice from an attorney of your choice.

    A case in point is your inquiry about civil liability and the duty to maintain roads. If I were posed the question “since I can get sued, can I put up a gate and close the road,” it immediately gets my mind to think about legal issues and legislatively enacted laws about road maintenance because you are asking for a legal opinion. While we may be able to give general information to assist the public, it would be improper for me (or anyone from the County) to explain the various legal theories and to provide legal advice to you. For this reason, Supervisor Bishop recommended, and I support 100%, that you consult with an attorney to discuss these issues and to answer your questions. If you take a position and you ask for our opinion, we may respond to the position and open a dialogue with you, but we still would be unable to advise you on the legality of your questions and what you should/should not do.

    Of course, I wish to assist you as best I can without providing legal advice. For this reason, I recommend that you visit the Mohave County Public Work’s page of the Mohave County website, http://www.mohavecounty.us The County’s Public Work’s Department has a page devoted to Roads, which can be found at: https://www.mohavecounty.us/ContentPage.aspx?id=128&cid=220

    On the Road’s page, you will find forms and information about the three standards of dirt roadway maintenance and petitions for regular or tertiary road maintenance. This webpage explains the road maintenance tasks and how often roads are maintained (based upon the road system).

    Also, you may also wish to review Title 28, Chapter 19, Article 1 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS § 28-6701 et al). These laws relate to County Highway Construction, Maintenance and Abandonment. You can visit the Arizona Revised Statutes at: http://www.azleg.gov

    Finally, as for the question of blocking persons from a public official’s website, this is a relatively new and developing area of law, and I am not in a position at this time to state the County’s position on that matter. Additionally, as with providing legal advice to you regarding road maintenance and tort liability, I am unable to advise you about the legality of “blocking” constituents on social media.

    I appreciate your time and concern, and I hope that this email addresses your problems. In closing, I ask that you keep the dialogue with Supervisor Bishop and our elected officials civil and respectful.

    Thank you,

    Ryan H. Esplin
    Civil Deputy County Attorney
    Mohave County, Arizona
    928-753-0770, ext. 4631

    NOTICE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS EMAIL IS ATTORNEY PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY NAMED ABOVE. IF THE READER OF THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISSEMINATION OF THIS COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY US BY TELEPHONE AND RETURN THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE TO US AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS VIA THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. THANK YOU.

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    Of course this is the exact same BS Bishop has been spewing.

    If she doesn’t unblock me soon, I’ll be suing her, and maybe the county — thanks to Trump and the lawsuit against him for blocking people on Twitter. It’ll be easy to just follow their argument and I won’t need a lawyer, although I’d prefer to be represented by an organization to really kick their asses.

    Time to found a non profit to for all these worthless vacant lots, take them off the tax roll entirely and preserve them as future open space. Nobody’s going to sue a non profit with no assets but worthless vacant land.

    NOBODY in their right mind will want to own vacant and worthless land out here anymore — it’s nothing but a liability.

    I haven’t seen a lot sold to an investor or future resident in my neighborhood in 10 years. I’ll be getting this info out and the BOS might even raise the property tax — in support of my efforts! The irony ….

    How do you like THAT, Ms Bishop?

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