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Editorial: Davis, Ayers conflict a healthy part of the political process
6/7/2012 1:09:00 PM
Sure, the recent political difference of opinion between veteran Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis and outgoing County Administrator Julie Ayers may have contributed to Ayers’ announcement this week that she is leaving the county’s employ.
Or, we can take Ayers at her word that one has nothing to do with the other; that this was a decision driven by family considerations.
Given Ayers’ track record of professionalism with the county, even if she does have a beef with Davis, she is staying true to form by taking the high road. She characterized the conflict with Davis over the county’s budget process and reorganization plan by saying, “In any professional relationship, there are ebbs and flows.” She further added that she had great respect for Davis and the current dispute did not contribute to her decision to resign.
As for Davis, he’s hardly a rookie at playing politics. He’s always taken the position that the “buck stops here” and his posture on wanting to be more hands-on with the budget process is consistent with how he always has operated. We would expect nothing less from him.
As for his flip-flop on the county reorganization plan, at least give Davis credit for admitting he was wrong for first voting in support of hiring two assistant county managers. How often do you hear a politician admit they made a mistake?
Certainly, the timing of Ayers’ decision in light of what occurred with Davis will fuel the fires of speculation. We choose to take Ayers at her word. Beyond that, let’s face up to realities folks: Bureaucrats and politicians butt heads. It happens all the time. It’s the nature of the political process. It’s healthy and is needed to shape sound policy.
One thing is for sure: Yavapai County was fortunate to have Julie Ayers as an employee: first as its Human Resources Manager and then as County Administrator. She is a true professional and the county is a better organization thanks to her contributions.
The same is true of Davis. The Verde Valley and Yavapai County both are lucky to have him. We could stand to have more elected officials with Davis’ insight, experience, humility and common sense.
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