The weekend has already yielded an important arrest for QPD. Justin Brown was taken into custody under felony warrants issued for his arrest in both California and Arizona. La Paz County Sheriff’s department cooperated with QPD in bringing about the arrest. His arrest ended a period of searching for him in the area of west Quartzsite.
Archive for October, 2010
Candidate Packet distribution begins November 8. Obtain a “candidate packet” from the Town of Quartzsite clerk – Karen Norris. You will learn the simple requirements to run for a council seat. After December 8, no more packets will be accepted for submission. This is a 30 day window of opportunity.
Voters have petitioned for the recall of two council members, Barbara Cowell and Joe Winslow. This recall has created the need for new candidates from among disatisfied citizens. A recall election requires Cowell and Winslow to stand for election again. The actual recall election will be held this March 2.
A media release from EnviroMission Limited dated October 27,indicates that an important step has been made in bringing a solar tower to a location north of Quartzsite. It will have a height of nearly one half mile ( 2,400 feet).
Don’t miss this impressive video presentation: http://www.enviromission.com.au/irm/content/images/videos/SolarTower_Animation_Metric.wmv
Most people will say, by reflex, that “of course – churches are not taxed”. La Paz County may be different. Tax Assessor George Nault has for most of four years failed to recognize that the Church of The Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona is a tax exempt church, no different than any other.
Citizens are encouraged to call George Nault at (928) 669-6165. Ask him for his explanation of why this church is being required to pay property taxes. He has given a reason, which basically he has stated as procedural. The Assessor will not budge on the “procedure”, which many legal experts and many church leaders find to be outside the recognized legal boundaries. Legal action may ensue.
The Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona is threatened with the loss of ownership of the 3 acres of land and buildings that they occupy. Unless the Assessor relents, within a few months the church could lose the property for back taxes.
The property includes the church sanctuary and a just-remodeled commercial kitchen, which is set up to prepare daily hot meals for the needy. Over 13,000 free hot meals are served annually. The Quartzsite police department often takes advantage of the church’s unfailing willingness to assist anybody they can. A pantry style food bank assists families needing basic groceries. Clothing is provided freely to anybody, from the racks in the “clothing bank”. The Isaiah 58 Project regularly networks with other Yuma Arizona charitable organizations. Many useful surplus goods are distributed to Yuma and Mexico. Located on Moon Mountain Avenue near Main Street, the church has become a well known and appreciated community Christian center.
On Tuesday night, council passed ordinance 10-19 that dictates citizen behavior at meetings. It has been shown to have been passed without full, timely notice to the public. Even most people who attended the meeting may have gone away without knowing what the content of the ordinance really was.
As to the flaw, Ordinance 10-19 as shown on the agenda for the Regular Meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council shows that the ordinance will revise:
Quartzsite Town Council Procedure Policy, Section VII – Citizens’ Rights.
The final version of the Ordinance, approved by Pamela Walsma attorney, indicates it will revise:
Quartzsite Town Council Procedure Policy, Section VI – Citizens’ Rights.
Read the above captions carefully. If you can see the difference (the error), citizens could consider placing a call to council member/s to point this out and to inquire what will be done to correct the mistake. Council member Jerry Lukkasson should be able to provide full information because he sponsored the agenda item. All council members and the attorney read and approved the ordinance.
The call would also be an opportunity to ask why this ordinance was not posted online before passage, as all others are. Perhaps the good eye of a citizen could have caught this mistake. At the time of this writing, only a memo exists on the agenda online. The memo states: “MATERIAL WILL [BE] PROVIDED AS SOON AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. SORRY FOR THE DELAY.” Council member Lukkasson should also be able to explain this as well.
The Quartzsite Town Council acted 6-1 Tuesday evening to pass Agenda Item 7. So, Ordinance 10-19 which changed “Citizens’ Rights” will become law if signed by the mayor. This action was taken in spite of pleas that council reschedule it, so that the people of the town could be informed, before the action, of exactly what changes in “Citizens Rights” were to be made.
The ordinance doubtlessly took at least days to consult and draft and edit, in preparation for the council meeting. The draft version became available Monday just before close of business. That was when the mayor of the town received a copy of the draft, not yet approved by the attorney.
At the meeting, the public was given only a synopsis description, verbally, without a full public recitation of the new ordinance. The final version is not yet online at the time of this writing, so two days after the meeting, the public still does not have the full content of the ordinance, except by requesting it. The town clerk sent me an email copy of the final ordinance this morning. It seems identical to the draft copy of Monday.
As was recently posted on this website, it is required that Arizona towns give notice to the public at least 24 hours before a meeting of all agenda items. Item 7 was clearly printed on the agenda, which was posted timely. However, such a notice has value only if the supporting details of the proposed agenda item are provided as well. Doug
HERE IS THE CONTENT OF AN EMAIL SENT 23 HOURS BEFORE THE TUESDAY MEETING.
From: Doug [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 8:06 PM
To: Jerry & Michelle Lukkasson
Cc: Ed Foster; Barbara Cowell;Pat Anderson; Joe Winslow; Jose Lizzaraga; Robert Kelly
Subject: Council member agenda item 7
Greetings Councilman Lukkasson
At the time of this writing, less than 24 hours are left before the regularly scheduled town council meeting. I have patiently waited for the appearance of some description of the changes to “Citizens’ Rights” that you have put on the agenda, item 7. On the town website, I still find only a memo from the town clerk that as to agenda item 7, “Material will [be] provided as soon as it becomes available. Sorry for the delay.”
As a responsible town official, I am sure this is an oversight on your part, as the sponsor of the Ordinance, not to provide the town citizens with the details of your proposed changes to their rights, in a timely fashion.
It seems that the courteous thing to do, and I respectfully request it be done, would be to reschedule your agenda item, or ask it to be tabled until the next meeting of council. Citizens’ rights, among all other items that could be placed on the agenda for a new ordinance, should be the last thing to be given short notice. I am sure that you gave much thought to whatever changes you thought were necessary to the Citizens Rights before placing it on the agenda. I ask just that the citizens also be given sufficient time to think about it.
Thanks for your consideration. Douglas C. Gilford
[FOLLOW UP EMAIL ….]
Hi Mayor Foster
Cc: all council (email address for Pat Anderson not available)
Thank you for your speedy response. Now I am informed about the nature of the agenda item, so I am grateful. My letter was not so much about the details of the agenda item 7, as about the need for proper notice being given to the citizens who are being represented.
As you are aware, the rest of the people in town are still not informed at all as to the nature of item 7. The council needs to respect the citizens’ needs and rights to due process and fair notice. Twenty four hours is a minimum accepted standard, and that is not really much time. Given enough notice, a citizen can research the proposed agenda item, and contact the council and mayor to express their desire that the item be passed or not passed.
Please feel free to read all parts of this email at the meeting, as part of any discussion for action on item 7, if it occurs. Doug
Note: no response was received from any council member, by email or telephone or any other means.
A new procedure was recently implemented, but not announced, in the Planning and Zoning Department. At the suggestion of Nora Yackley, a “zoning determination” short form will be placed in each file in town hall which corresponds to each parcel of property inside the town limits. Why should we care?
Previously, a property owner could walk into town hall to ask the simple question: “what is the zoning for my place?”. Often, the answer would be that the department was not sure – so then they would begin a research project. Reasons were given for the uncertainty, but still, they were not sure, and many days might pass to get an answer. Worse yet, you might then get the wrong answer. Roulette.
I have personally been given incorrect zoning determinations at least five times from the town building official, in my career as a real estate agent. This is important. Money is at stake. You may be denied the right to split your property, or place an RV hookup on it, or to use it for commercial purposes as a result of a wrong zoning decision! This is all a result of poor record keeping by the Planning and Zoning Department. At a recent meeting my wife and I requested, the department suggested to me that perhaps the town should charge a fee for looking up zoning.
I recommend that if you want to know for certain what your zoning is, go into town hall. Ask about it. Get it in writing. Be sure that the new form is filled out and placed in your file. Doug
Our agenda has 8 items on 2 pages. It can be read at the normal posting sites around town. The entire package, like what the council members receive for a meeting, is available from the town website. It can be lengthy, because it has documents which explain and support the items on the agenda.
If you download the “agenda” from the town website, you will get 83 pages, 28 MB – a large download. So, instead, here it is if you wish to read the agenda – simplified:
- Collaborate with Alfonzo Castro of Elite Sports and Promotions to allow use of town park facilities for tournaments and other events.
- Amend Town Code Chapter 6 – Animals
- Choose a bulk water meter system
- Revision of BLM project list
- Appoint Michelle Norris and Steve Frakes to Public Safety Retirement Services Board
- Amend Town Code Chapter 2 – Mayor and Council, Section 2-4-6 – Order of Business
- Revise Town Council Procedure Policy, Section VII – Citizens’ Rights *
- Replace Chapter 8 of Town Code titled Business Regulations, excluding Article 8-3
*Note that material to support and explain Item 7 on the agenda, says the town clerk, will be published “as it becomes available”. As of 8pm on the night before the meeting, the same memo is all there is to read online – no explanation of Item 7. This is the one item on the agenda that should not be given short notice. A citizen who values “Rights” might especially want to have time to read about the proposed changes.
An email was sent to all council members requesting that the people of the town be given at least 24 hours notice of the contents of such an important change. Hopefully, they will reschedule this item 7.
If you use Highway 60 to go in the direction of Wickenburg / Phoenix, be aware that construction will begin this week at Vicksburg Road. That four-way stop simple intersection will be made safer and quicker to get through. This construction is gonna take a while.
October 20 There was an online report of the passing of Diane Marie Ayling, formerly of Quartzsite.
Rudy and Sheri Aguilera have purchased a property on West Kenoyer Street. They have been long time residents of Quartzsite, and are busy with moving and pruning and planting to make it their new home. Congratulations!
Look at 184.108.40.206 (below)
The following has been excerpted from the Arizona “Open Meetings” law A.R.S. §§ 38-431 to -431.09:
7.6.1 Generally. The Open Meeting Law requires at least 24 hours advance notice of all meetings to the public body and to the general public. Notice makes it possible for the public to attend public meetings by informing them of when and where to go, and how to get information regarding the matters under consideration.
7.6.3 Notice to the Public. Notice of all meetings, including executive sessions, must be given to the public. A.R.S. § 38-431.02.
220.127.116.11 Public Notice of Meetings. … the public body must give notice of each of its meetings by posting a copy of the notice on its website ……. mailing notices to those asking to be informed of meetings…
7.6.5 Time for Giving Notice. As a general rule, a meeting may not be held without giving the required notice at least twenty-four hours before the meeting.
7.7.1 Generally. In addition to notice of the time, date, and place of the meeting, the public body must provide an agenda of the matters to be discussed, considered, or decided at the meeting.
7.7.2 Contents of the Agenda — Public Meeting. The agenda for a public meeting must contain a listing of the “specific matters to be discussed, considered or decided at the meeting.
7.7.4 Distribution of the Agenda. The agenda may be made available to the public by including it as part of the public notice or by stating in the public notice how the public may obtain a copy of the agenda and then distributing the agenda in the manner prescribed. … Because both the public notice and the agenda must be available at least twenty-four hours in advance of a meeting, the simplest procedure is to include the agenda with the public notice….
Has anyone noticed that the Beall’s Outlet store property has had weeds and wild bushes removed, trash picked up, and blacktop thoroughly swept? What a difference. Even the public right of way on Main Street was primped. Thanks to the manager - Kathy Nash. Doug
There was held a workshop meeting Wednesday afternoon Octover 20. The agenda called for discussion of vendor and business license code, health department interests for mobile food vendors. The meeting was apparently called on short notice. No public notice is apparent on the town website. Comments welcome to let all know how it went. Doug
Hot dogs, chips, prizes, games and much more. Saturday Oct 23, 11-2pm at Tyson Wells. Sponsored by Quartzsite Community Prevention Coalition. Come on over and get acquainted! Submitted by Teri
October 24, 2010
This event went pretty well. Kids enjoyed it most. Rocks and kids got painted, inflatable slide and Bounce House got a workout. Thanks to those who came to help. My granddaughter Baylee Kiesselbach came from Orange County CA to share her personal experiences with losing close friends to overdoses. Baylee is a strong advocate of drug-free living, thank you Baylee for caring enough to share your loss. Submitted by Teri