KINGMAN — Retiring Mohave County Manager Mike Hendrix wishes peace and happiness for all as his 36-year career ends in retirement.
The longtime Kingman resident said it’s odd to exit local government while COVID-19 and racial unrest surges across America.
“You know what I’d like to see for the community is that we continue to embrace each other. This is such a fantastic community,” Hendrix said. “Look at what’s happening throughout the rest of the country. There’s so much hate and so much division and we don’t really have that here. We have people who will be in their car and will stop on a street corner and insist that you go first. In the stores people look you in the eye and say ‘good morning’ and ‘how are you.’ I hope we continue not to be haters.”
Hendrix said his last drive to work this morning will be awkward.
“I can’t kid you and say it’s not hard to leave because it is hard to leave this organization,” Hendrix said. “The prize is that now I’ll get to spend more time with my wife, Cherie, and she’s ready. She’s made it clear to me that she wants to start that time of our life.”
Hendrix said they’ll continue to live in Kingman but they both look forward to some travel and exploration. They plan to go on an elk hunt together in October.
Hendrix said he will miss the many county employees who comprise a staff he calls a team.
“I can’t express to you how great of a staff I have, all the way from the directors on down. They’re selfless. They’re dedicated,” Hendrix said. “They’ve made the county what it is today and I think we’ve got one of the best organization’s around.”
Supervisors heaped praise and thanks upon Hendrix during his last board meeting Monday. Chairman Jean Bishop made light of Hendrix’s reputation for joke-telling as she offered him a mini-roast.
Finance Director Coral Loyd thanked Hendrix for hiring her on a day that she called one of the best in her life. She presented $1,000 in gift cards from employees who wanted to contribute to his first road trip in retirement.
Other accolades and tokens of appreciation came from Development Services Director Tim Walsh, Public Works Director Steve Latoski and Sup. Hildy Angius.
Hendrix said he hopes employees continue fulfilling the Mohave County mission statement. He said new Manager Sam Elters inherits quite an assembly of talent.
Hendrix has known Elters for decades and said he takes comfort he is being succeeded by a fine administrator with local roots.
“He has already really stepped up to the plate. He’s just a fantastic choice and a fantastic individual. He’s not going to miss a beat,” Hendrix said.