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Archive for January, 2012

This Just In

28 Jan

Robert H Jackson

The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. He can have citizens investigated and, if he is that kind of person, he can have this done to the tune of public statements and veiled or unveiled intimations. Or the prosecutor may choose a more subtle course and simply have a citizen’s friends interviewed. The prosecutor can order arrests, present cases to the grand jury in secret session, and on the basis of his one-sided presentation of the facts, can cause the citizen to be indicted and held for trial. He may dismiss the case before trial, in which case the defense never has a chance to be heard. Or he may go on with a public trial. If he obtains a conviction, the prosecutor can still make recommendations as to sentence, as to whether the prisoner should get probation or a suspended sentence, and after he is put away, as to whether he is a fit subject for parole. While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from  malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.

U.S. Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, April 1, 1940

 
 

Video – “Town Hall” Meeting

26 Jan

Town Hall style meeting held January 25, 2011

Video copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News – Thanks Bill!

 
 

Be Careful Where You Park

26 Jan

“Be careful where you park to get to the RV Tent Show. You could get a ticket, or worse.”

Quoting Mike Coke http://www.irv2.com/forums/f39/quartzsite-parked-in-wrong-spot-113235.html

 

 
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Posted in Qtown

 

John Prutch Enters Election Race

25 Jan

John Prutch submitted documents to enter the March 13 election today. He has announced that he is a write-in candidate for a council seat. He will compete specifically for the seat vacated by Jose Lizzaraga months ago. There are two years remaining on that term.

 

 
 

Brannan Blasts Blogger

24 Jan

January 27.  This just in: “– resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judment you cannot
be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.” Abraham Lincoln

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January 24. Today’s council meeting business was preceded by an unusual and rambling statement by current Town Attorney  Martin Brannan. During the announcements and reports segment, he quoted Theodore Roosevelt, then took a swing at this blogger, politically speaking.

The basis of Brannan’s criticism toward me seems to have stemmed from 3 (possibly unwelcome) Open Meeting Law violation complaints, submitted yesterday by me and my wife to the Arizona Attorney General. Those complaints were submitted accurately.

1. Brannan made a false statement: “Doug Gilford published yesterday that today’s meeting is illegal because the notice of the agenda announcing the meeting was posted 23 hours and 24 minutes before the meeting and not a full 24 hours before the meeting. He is wrong.” In actuality, the notice was not posted until at least 10:35 am. That is what was published. One of 3 possibilites exist. Brannan apparently did not “go figure”, or was incapable of figuring, or is a liar.

2. But that was not the only or greatest issue…    Brannan began the Town’s defense for this late website posting. He referred to technical difficulties which prevented posting of the notice [online]. If that is true, there was still obviously plenty of time to overcome technical difficulties.

[Paragraph corrected:] The agenda is compiled on Thursdays before Tuesday meetings.That notice was created and signed Friday. The bulletin boards in town were posted last Friday. So too could the website have been updated on Friday. The notice did not make it onto the website until 3 days later. “Not getting around to it” is not a technical difficulty.

Video copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News

3. The Town has used this “technical difficulties” excuse extensively for the past year. The writer made a complaint to the Town on its official complaint form last March 2011 about the deplorable condition of the website for the first 3 months of 2011. That complaint went unanswered.

4. Brannan did not deny that the public notice to announce today’s meeting was in fact posted late on the website.

5. As if Arizona Statutes are not important, the clerk did not correct the written time of posting on the notice. Even if technical difficulties existed, it should have been corrected [to “10:45”].  It states that the posting was made at 9:00 am. So, the notice creates yet another error and potential violation.

6. Additional evidence and information will now be submitted to the Attorney General to supplement the complaints. The Attorney General’s office will make the decision whether there were violations or not. Despite Brannan’s politically flavored statement, the Statutes are intended to be, and are indeed clear on Arizona Open Meeting Laws.

7. Readers are invited to report their own observations of the postings for this meeting.

 
 

Quartzsite Leadership Defies Attorney General

23 Jan

A Town Council meeting is scheduled to be held tomorrow at 9:00 am. The Arizona Open Meeting Laws require towns just like Quartzsite to give the public at least 24 hours notice of such a “regular” meeting – – on the Town’s website. They have not done so. Worse than that, it appears the Town Clerk has made a naughty statement about what time the notice was (later) posted. The Attorney General of Arizona has been notified.

By about 10:50 am, the Town Clerk had the notice up onto the website. That notice indicates that it was posted at 9:00 am today. More than one observer can vouch that it was not actually seen online until after 10:35 am.

Last month, the Town of Quartzsite was put under the special oversight of the Attorney General’s office for 2011 violations of the state laws. Laws like the ones broken today. The observance is for a period of one year. Even with this condition, the Town of Quartzsite has now failed to comply with the law in the first 3 weeks of State oversight this year.

The Town has also not publicly revealed whether they responded to the Attorney General as to other conditions. The Town was asked to agree to have council members receive education.

 
 

Sample Ballot For March 13 Election

17 Jan

Quartzsite sample ballot

 
 

Blank Checks

14 Jan

Most people would not write and sign checks without carefully naming the payee and the amount. At the last council meeting on January 10, the council approved $55,698 to be spent for payroll. That’s all that is known. The number of checks issued is unknown. The amounts of each check and payees on each – also unknown.

The council was informed of only the total amount of the batch of checks.  No questions were raised by any council member as to the details of any of those disbursements. Essentially the council appears to be approving blank checks written by their chosen administrators.

 
 

Public Defender $tiff-Arms Town Of Quartzsite

12 Jan

Matthew Newman, Attorney of Parker, Arizona has refused to do business with the Town of Quartzsite. Apparently, the Town has requested Newman to represent a new defendant, as public defender, at the expense of the Town. This follows a motion yesterday by Michael Frame,  Attorney and formerly the most called on public defender. He is critical of the town and indicates that he has not been paid. Please refer to yesterday’s headline,  just below.

Attorney Matthew Newman expressed his viewpoint of the offer to go to work, in a court motion. Excerpts from the document:

“Upon information and belief, the current public defender [editor: Michael Frame] is not being paid for his services, and I cannot in good faith enter into any agreement with an administration as tainted as the current one.” 

“It is also my belief that the current administration is specifically targeting certain individuals for prosecution for their political views.” 

READ THE  2  PAGE MOTION HERE

 
 

Town $tiff-Arms Public Defender

11 Jan

The Town of Quartzsite has failed to pay for the services of a certain public defender.  The town provides a public defender, at the town’s expense, to criminal defendants who qualify.

Michael Frame, attorney and one of the public defenders used by the town, is still receiving cases regularly from Quartzsite Magistrate Court. He indicates that his bills for services for December and January to date are unpaid, and that the Town has refused to pay him. He has filed a motion this morning in court containing this claim. Other serious allegations are made in the motion as to Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan.

READ THE DOCUMENT

 
 

Corruption Now A “Tradition” In Quartzsite

10 Jan

At today’s Quartzsite Town Council meeting:

There was no objection raised at the meeting about Carol Kelley’s imminent appointment to a council seat. Nonetheless, the vice mayor and town manager felt the need to defend the action.

Barbara Cowell, council member and vice mayor, jumped the gun. Before sponsor Alex Taft could give her introduction for the agenda item, Cowell began a defense. “This has been done before two other times with Dave Taylor and Chuck Busby. They were offered to their wives. This was offered to the wives before. So I just wanted to put that in there that this is a tradition of Quartzsite”.

Alex Taft mentioned that Carol Kelley had previously made an application for council in July. [Carol was not selected, and now there are a dozen other applicants].

Editorial comment: The rest of the story – is that it is also traditional for the surviving spouse to say

“THANK YOU, I AM HONORED, BUT  I DECLINE”.

Video copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News

 
 

You Need Not Apply

10 Jan

A number of people in Quartzsite have observed that you need not apply for a position of any sort within the  Quartzsite  Town government. They have also observed that family members and close friends are given a favored path to hiring, without having to compete with other applicants (a “family” shop). Today the Council will have a chance to demonstrate if this is true.

The Council will vote to place Carol Kelley on the council. Carol is likely still mourning her husband’s death of just 10 days ago. That has not deterred her from stepping up for the job. Her late husband “Bob” Kelley left a seat open on the council. She wants it. Now.

It is likely that by the time you read this, Carol Kelley will have been appointed to her late husband’s seat on the Quartzsite Town Council. These points are left to ponder:

  1. “… I am doing what my late husband ask me to do and in his memory I will do it …” (Carol Kelley, January 9  2012.)
  2. This appointment is placed on the agenda by the Town Manager, not a Town Council member. It is the job of the council to notice that a seat is vacant and act to fill it by appointment process, without allowing their own appointee (Town Manager Alex Taft) to usurp the council’s power.
  3. Why does it appear that the council will have come to a tacit agreement to appoint Carol Kelley, with the aid of the Town Manager, without consulting other council members, all out of the public eye?
  4. Consulting other council members, out of the public eye, would violate (again) the Arizona Open Meeting Laws. Consider that the population of Quartzsite is 3,700 –  most citizens could qualify for this appointment.
  5. Carol Kelley is not even among the candidates now actively seeking a council seat in the March 13 election. These 11 other people already show interest in a council position.
  6. The appointment is being made without the usual procedures applied. Normally, a council vacancy is filled by soliciting applications from citizens first. Logically the best and most qualified applicant would be selected. The council has not yet even mentioned at an open meeting that there is an opening.
 
 

Election Aberration

07 Jan

READ THE PRESS RELEASE FROM TOWN OF QUARTZSITE HERE

Developing story. Today’s mail brought this document to the candidates for the March 13 primary election. It indicates that the Town of Quartzsite “discovered” that the candidates’ petitions, alone, will determine which seat each or all candidates will seek.

The issue is this. When the candidates submitted their completed petitions, one important choice was not addressed. That was whether the candidate desired to run in the primary cycle for a four year council term – or – a two year term available in a special cycle to fill the seat left open by former council member Lizarraga. The petitions were received and processed. Then , later, the new Town Clerk Terry Frausto is said to have made telephone  calls to candidates to ask for their spoken choice as to two or four years.

It is known that at least one candidate opted to run for the two year seat. Candidates are raising the issue of why the Town Clerk did not make clear that there was a choice to be made in each candidacy. Even more curiously, it is being asked why Clerk Terry Frausto would make the telephone calls.

 
 

More Jobs In Jeopardy

06 Jan

Julie Pieper in purchasing department, Finance Director Heidi Turner and finance assistant Peggy Ware. All have just been placed on “administrative leave” by Alex Taft, Quartzsite Town Manager. Most employees recently placed on leave have been terminated after a hearing. As reported on Facebook.com.

 
 

I’m Just Saying … (Quotes and Commentary)

02 Jan

December 2011: News 13 spoke with Martin Brannan and he says he did follow some blogs online …

Martin Brannan, December 2011: “It’s a wordpress thing and I did follow it for awhile um I think that there’s nothing threatening on there but uh it’s kinda mean spirited.”    [“wordpress” is a typical internet blog format]

Martin Brannan, June 2011:  “I don’t read blogs”

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A comment by one reader of this blog: “Brannan can not factually make this statement unless he knows FOR A FACT who the Quartzsite Bagger ACTUALLY IS> ” ….. [Referring to this statement by Brannan: ] 

“Despite reports to the contrary, the so-called Quartzsite Bagger is not the Quartzsite Town Attorney or any other elected or appointed officer of the Town
of
Quartzsite…”

 
 
 

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