Recall efforts have begun against the Quartzsite Mayor, Ed Foster. Signatures are being solicited at the Main Street Eatery. A hand held sign (photo) suggests: “Recall Mayor Ed Foster”. An elected official must hold office 6 months before being eligible to be recalled. The mayor has just passed that mark.
Archive for November, 2010
It is reported with more detail at http://www.quartzsitearizona.blogspot.com/ that another arrest has been made, related to the recent incident at the pet grooming business and residence of Jennifer and John Jones on Central Boulevard. Al Johnson visited as Quartzsite Building Official, with camera in hand. An argument ensued.
John Jones was arrested while away from his home on Saturday. John Jones’ arrest follows that of Jennifer Jones, also arrested near Quartzsite Town Hall just before the regular council meeting.
Watch video here:
The white unmarked car in the video is a Quartzsite Police vehicle, driven by Sgt. Ponce. I am the person holding the camera. There seemed to be ample opportunity for the Sgt. to stop before the crosswalk, but his attention was elsewhere.
The story. Today I crossed Main Street on foot, so I picked the most dangerous place I could think of. I was returning from the Main Street Eatery. I picked the crosswalk near the Quartzsite Bakery. I decided to record my street crossing. My intention was to have something to demonstrate that few drivers give a pedestrian a break at that crosswalk. Beginner’s luck.
Not seeing a 6 ft. 3 in. 220 pound man, holding a camera in a crosswalk ….. is a mistake that any of us could make – but it should not go without notice. Driver mistakes are certainly noted by law enforcement. This is about safety.
My wife and I have observed countless near misses there, from our little store window. Near misses and failure to yield are frequent occurrences between vehicles and pedestrians (even with a baby carriage!). We have long thought about putting this hazard before our town officials.
The crosswalk location was not well thought out. It seems proper that it is located at an intersection. However, one end lies between two very busy driveways (Family Dollar / Quartzsite General Store). Drivers are frequently seen making improper moves between those driveways. Left turns into the Family Dollar require the vehicle to be on or nearly upon the crosswalk.
The solar powered warning lights are no longer working. They never were especially visible even when they were. The wide painted stripes across the road are working fine!
Town council members actually sat and debated whether more propane service is needed in Quartzsite. It is the opinion of this writer that perhaps the next business person who wants to open a food store will also have to be given permission to enter that market, based on the vote of council. Perhaps another book store or laundromat or storage facility or restaurant will be denied becauuse there are “too many”. Does our town council actually think that it is within their job description to control a market for goods and services?
The vote went 4-2 to allow Rose RV Park on Kuehn Street to sell propane, just as it did last season. Council members Kelly (“propane sales…which I think we have too many of in town now”) and Winslow (“We have an abundance of these”) voted no. Douglas Gilford
Jennifer “Jade” Harris-Jones was arrested Tuesday evening before she entered the scheduled town council meeting at 7 pm. The charges are said to be connected with an incident at her business and residence last Friday. At that time Al Johnson, acting as building official for the Town of Quartzsite, came onto the property to investigate potential zoning violations.
The mayor sought and gained Jones’ release the same evening after her arrest. She is reported to have been charged with Obstructing Governmental Operations and False Reporting to Law Enforcement Agencies (see Desert Messenger blog).
Separately, Russell Sias was arrested for assault. Video shows that near the end of the meeting, he announced he had some things to deliver “to each one of you” [papers in an envelope]. Packages were given or provided for each council member, mayor, town manager, and town attorney.
The last service was made to the chief of police Jeff Gilbert. Mr Sias walked across the room toward the chief. The chief announced that he was “not interested”… “in your papers”. The chief folded his arms. Mr. Sias thrust the papers upon the chief’s upper chest. The papers appeared to also contact his face. Mr Sias was immediately taken into custody. The video shows no mention was made that they were legal papers.
The papers served were copies of a Motion For Injunction against the town, filed Monday November 21 in US District Court.
Tuesday November 22 the town was served with a civil complaint motion for preliminary injunction. The service of the papers resulted in the arrest of the process server – see separate story above: “Arrests at Town Hall”. A viewed copy of the document (Quartzsite News) showed this information:
In the US District Court, Civil Complaint, Motion For A Preliminary Injunction, Jennifer Jones, plaintiff/petitioner VS Town of Quartzsite Body Politic, defendant/respondent. It indicates that Jones seeks relief from the court. She asks that the town be restrained from activities other than “the normal day to day basic business operations”.
See also: Quartzsite News
Excitement like this seldom comes to Quartzsite. Congratulations to the STARS for their win in Phoenix last Saturday. 40-38 over Scottsdale Prep Spartans.
La Paz County is in the news, thanks to Assessor, George Nault. The Church of Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona is being pursued for taxes. Foreclosure threatened this February.
Alliance Defense Fund has this: http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/News/PRDetail/4443
The story at One News Now: Http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?Id=1232656
This March 8, Council members Lizzaraga, Winslow, Anderson, Lukkasson & Cowell are tentatively qualified to be recalled, according to an assistant at the town clerk’s office. It was also said that the election has not yet been called by the town clerk.
The rules say that those who wish to run in the election must have their documents turned in to the clerk at least 60 days before March 8 (early January). The document packets are to available not sooner than 90 days before the election (early December). Look for a new announcement from the clerk, soon. A previous public posting regarding availability of packets is no longer seen at posting sites.
The mayor has been formally charged with a violation of the Arizona Open Meeting Law. More details may follow when made available. The charge is related to the mayor’s refusal to allow council and/or public comments, during the meeting of October 26.
The Open Meeting Law is written in plain English, not too long, and a summary can be viewed here: http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdVnd7t9MGs8AiARXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzbThoMmNwBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1FJMDAxXzc0/SIG=12nffe3oj/EXP=1289830493/**http%3a//www.azleg.gov/ombudsman/Open%2520Meeting%2520Law%2520101.pdf
Today the mayor explained that he has sought legal advice, and as a result will not seek to bring charges against council members. At issue was the council’s passage of Ordinances 10-18, 10-19.
At the council meeting last evening, an application for a business license was kept alive until at least the next meeting. A vendor wishes to sell propane (again) at an RV park on East Kuehn Street. Council members Lizzaraga and Anderson moved and seconded to deny the application, based on improper zoning and general safety concerns. Discussion followed regarding the permit that was issued to the same business last season at the same location with the same general configuration. Council Member Lukkasson suggested more work be done by staff to assure that this vendor is not treated unfairly.
The mayor has promised to bring criminal charges against council members if Ordinance 10-19 is passed and signed by the vice mayor. The mayor cited two areas of Arizona law in warning the council that it may be illegal to make such an ordinance. Council membert Joe Winslow interrupted the meeting to make comments. Final vote 6-1. Coincidentally or not, this is the ordinance that has been a recent topic in this news blog. Ordinance 10-18 was dealt with on the same motion at last night’s meeting. It too is said to be illegal. The mayor expressed that the council has been adequately warned of the possible consequences for moving ahead.
1. The council has made an important error in an ordinance just passed.
2. Also, the council and town clerk have failed to publish the contents of the new ordinance.
From: Doug [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 7:24 AM
To: Karen Norris; Ed Foster Cc: Jose Lizzaraga; Joe Winslow; Jerry Lukkasson; Robert Kelly; Barbara Cowell
Subject: Agenda Item 3, November 9 regular meeting – Ordinance 10-19
via email to Quartzsite town leadership …
Greetings Clerk and Mayor and Council
Please could you give your attention to these:
Ordinance 10-19 “CITIZENS’ RIGHTS” has a substantive error as passed by the council.
The ordinance refers to Section VI.
It should refer to Section VII.
There is no apparent mention on the next meeting agenda to correct the error, only to sign it.
It would seem to require a new main motion to fix it.
Reference: Roberts Rules of Order Section 35 “Rescind, Amend Something Previously Adopted”.
Could Ordinance 10-19 not be published online for the public?
No such disclosure has yet been given to the public,
as has routinely been done with other ordinances.
If you choose to correct the error just described above,
it also seems that issue of correcting it should appear on an agenda for a future meeting.
This would present an opportunity to disclose the contents of the new ordinance to the public.
Thanks for your service to the town.
The town management has passed another opportunity to show citizens what is in Ordinance 10-19. It deals with multiple changes to “Citizens Rights” during a council meeting. The content of 10-19 could have been included in the support documents for this Tuesday’s agenda. It is not. Neither was it made available before its passage at the last regular meeting. Neither was it recited or fully explained.
Ord. 10-19 is expected to be authorized for signature by the vice mayor – this Tuesday evening.