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Archive for October, 2012

Mayor Foster Denied Access

26 Oct

Mayor Foster

Story contributed by “Quartzsite Outsider” – Thank you!

Just when it seemed Quartzsite Town Management was finally going to “play nice” (albeit at the point of a court order), today they returned to their normal game plan and refused to let Mayor Ed Foster enter the playground!

“ARFighter” is reporting online this morning (Friday) that interim Town Manager Laura Bruno and Town Clerk Terry Frausto refused newly sworn and seated Mayor Ed Foster access to Town offices! The two have summarily demoted the Mayor of Quartzsite to a regular citizen, not allowing the Mayor access to Town Hall beyond the public business counter! (This reporter confirmed this story with Mayor Foster.)

Mayor Foster, who was prevented from being seated for 5 months by the Town’s illegal legal maneuvering (despite winning an overwhelming majority of votes for Mayor in May) knew this might happen. So his attorney, Julie Labenz, who recently won the Writ of Mandamus court action that forced the Town to seat the Mayor shrewdly added verbiage to Judge Burke’s court Order to the effect that Town must also cooperate with Mayor Foster as he performs his official duties as Mayor. That is, not just seat him as Mayor, but allow him to perform his duties as Mayor.)

As such, Mayor Foster believes that Interim Town Manager Lauro Bruno and Town Clerk Terry Frausto are in contempt of court. Moreover, Mayor Foster believes they both have committed a crime, violating A.R.S. 12-2029. (This reporter adds A.R.S. 13-2810, Interfering with judicial proceedings, a Class 1 misdemeanor.)

Mayor Foster believes the only way these people will play nice is if they’re disciplined for not playing nice.  Mayor Foster’s attorney, LaBenz, is currently unavailable (at trial), but Mayor Foster intends to contact her today to seek Emergency action by Judge Burke. The mayor has attempted to contact the La Paz County Attorney, Sam Vederman, to initiate criminal proceedings. But Mayor Foster hasn’t been able to reach Mr. Vederman.

Mr. Vederman saw the “systemic political corruption” in Quartziste earlier in the year, and filed a complaint with the FBI’s Public Corruption Unit over the matter. (He has since been promoted to Superior Court Judge, to replace retiring Judge Burke in December.)  It appears the systemic political corruption continues, even though the Town hired a new interim Town Manager who vowed to “right this ship.”

Mayor Foster’s phone number is 928-750-8113

 
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Special Meeting Wednesday October 24

25 Oct


Video much appreciated, contributed by Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC (copyright)

 
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Foster Seated – Video

23 Oct

Ed Foster was sworn in today.  Mike Jewitt chosen by council as Vice Mayor. Bloodless.

Video much appreciated, contributed by Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC (copyright)

 
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Foster Is Mayor

23 Oct

Ed Foster is, was and will be Mayor of Quartzsite. The Quartzsite Town Council voted unanimously to seat Mr. Foster this morning. They were somewhat persuaded to do so by a court order. Audio for meeting Oct 23

 
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Martin Brannan’s Contract

23 Oct

For viewing: Martin Brannan Contract

 
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Must See Video

18 Oct

Ed Foster’s attorney Julie LaBenz talks about WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE!?!

Ed Foster was just finally seated as Mayor. The voters have been denied their Mayor for almost 5 months by a belligerent and stubborn Town Council.

 
 

Foster Elected Again

18 Oct

Sure, Ed Foster was elected by the people of Quartzsite last May. He had to be “elected” a second time in court. That happened yesterday. READ COMPLETE STORY AT PARKER PIONEER

These events thanks to a stubborn Quartzsite Town Council.  Many thousands of dollars were spent on lawyers to bring a losing argument to court that the people had elected an “unqulaified” mayor. The council stood by an illegal town ordinance – to deny the people their elected representative. All the while, the council could have simply brought the faulty ordinance to a meeting and struck it. Instead, according to council member Norma Crooks, it had to be “tested in court”. The hard way. At the expense of the taxpayers. Crooks and the other council members obviously refused to take their attorney’s advice and settle the lo$ing ca$e!

Sadly, other faulty ordinances still exist on Quartzsite’s books. Will this council insist on “testing” them all?

 
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Town’s Insurance Cancelled This January

13 Oct

Laura Bruno

An extraordinarily bad thing has happened to the Town of Quartzsite. With emphasis on poor Town management, the insurance “pool” has decided to terminate Quartzsite’s participation as of January 6, 2013. The cancellation of the all-important insurance is being connected to Town management issues. Five problem areas were cited in a letter from the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool (the pool). Each of the five problems appear to be the responsibility of the current new Interim Town Manager Laura Bruno.

Ms. Bruno is just 3 weeks into the job. She has failed to maintain the underwriting requirements set out for the Town by the “pool”. Ms. Bruno has stated that the Town will just seek other insurance. (She has earlier stated that she gained the pool’s agreement to continue the Town’s participation in the pool.) Unfortunately, it is generally known that alternate insurance may well not be available to a small town with lots of pending money claims and lawsuits against it. Even more are known to be coming. If new insurance is even available, the cost to taxpayers is expected to be steep.

The only hope held out is that Quartzsite has a 90 day re-instatement period to make it all right by Jan. 6.

==========================================

October 5, 2012

Laura Bruno
Interim Town Manager
Town of Quartzsite
P.O. Box 2812
Quartzsite, AZ 85346

Dear Ms. Bruno,

I am writing to inform you the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool (AMRRP) has made the difficult decision to terminate the Town of Quartzsite’s coverage under its Property and Liability Coverage Agreements because the Town is failing to satisfy underwriting requirements. This letter is the Town’s notice of coverage termination effective midnighton January 6, 2013. The Town’s workers’ compensation coverage with AMRRP will continue under the existing Workers’ Compensation Coverage Agreement.

The Town of Quartzsite’s Membership Agreement includes the following provision:

5. Termination of Agreement.

5.1 With Cause. The Board may at any time during the term of this Agreement or any extensions thereof suspend or terminate coverage for (i) nonpayment of the Coverage Fees or any other breach by the Member of the terms of this Agreement; or (ii) the failure to satisfy underwriting requirements established by the Pool. In such case, coverage shall be suspended or terminated and membership shall be terminated pursuant to Section 8 of this Agreement.

AMRRP is invoking its right to terminate Quartzsite’s Property and Liability Coverage pursuant to this provision. AMRRP has made every effort to avoid the need for this action. The Town received letters dated September 7, September 25 and September 27, all of which communicated the seriousness of underwriting concerns in Quartzsite. In those letters, AMRRP cited the following specific concerns which to date have not been effectively addressed:

• Failure to provide adequate Town management to ensure that typical governmental and administrative controls are properly in place for the protection of the public and the Town’s employees.
• Failure to maintain and effectively manage a loss control program.
• Full utilization of AMRRP’s Personnel Assistant Lifeline (PAL) for employment decisions.
• Leadership and management action to reduce risk and improve the risk profile of the Town.
• Solicitation and following of advice from the League regarding appropriate Town management and decision making processes.

Ongoing factional disputes within the Quartzsite Town Council and resulting employment decisions have created numerous claims and the potential for additional losses. AMRRP has received more than thirty claims against Quartzsite since early 2010, many related to the factional decision-making practices of the Town Council and ensuing employment disputes. In its history, AMRRP has never received so many claims against a municipality in so short a time and of such a nature as in Quartzsite.

Quartzsite’s actions and operating environment have created a very serious financial drain on resources contributed to AMRRP by other Arizona cities and towns, and will continue to do so if the Pool does not take immediate action. Quartzsite’s continued failure to rectify these circumstances and take effective corrective measures means the Town is not able to meet AMRRP’s underwriting requirements for coverage.

Section 5.1 of the Membership Agreement affords Quartzsite with certain rights that are set forth in
Section 8 of the Agreement. Section 8 states:

Suspension. In the event the Member (i) fails to pay its Coverage Fees as specified herein; (ii) fails to comply with any of the other terms of this Agreement; or (iii) fails to satisfy underwriting requirements established by the Pool, the Board may, if such failure is not cured after ten (10) days’ written notice, terminate the Member’s coverage under the applicable Coverage Agreement. The date of such termination shall be referred to as the “Coverage Termination Date” Notwithstanding such termination of coverage, the Member shall retain its rights to the return of any surplus or other distributions from or assets of the Pool for a ninety (90) day period (the “Ninety Day Reinstatement Period”) following such notice by the Pool. To retain this right, the Member must notify the Pool in writing during the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period of the Member’s election (the “Reinstatement Election”) to reinstate coverage by delivering to the Pool a payment in an amount equal to any outstanding Coverage Fees and otherwise curing the failure giving rise to the termination of coverage. Upon the Pool’s receipt of such payment and evidence documenting that the Member has cured the failure giving rise to the termination of coverage, together with such underwriting data and other information as the Pool may reasonably request, and provided that the Administrator determines (in the exercise of the • Administrator’s sole and absolute discretion) that the reinstatement of coverage is appropriate based on sound business judgment, loss control and underwriting criteria, and loss experience during the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period (or applicable portion thereof), coverage under the applicable Coverage Agreement will be reinstated, effective as of the Coverage Termination Date. If the Member fails to provide the Pool the Reinstatement Election (together with such documentation, data and other information as required pursuant to this Section 8 ) during the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period, or if the Member provides the Reinstatement Election (together with such documentation, data and other information as required pursuant to this Section 8 ) during the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period and the Member’s coverage reinstatement is denied pursuant to this Section 8, upon the expiration of the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period, the Member shall cease to be a member of the Pool and shall lose all rights as a member of the Pool including (without limitation) the right to return of any surplus or other distributions from or assets of the Pool and coverage under any Coverage Agreement. In the event of such termination, the Member shall be relieved of any liability for ordinary Coverage Fees under Section 7 for fiscal years after the year of the Member’s termination. The Member’s liability for additional assessments shall continue to the extent provided in Section 9 below.

Pursuant to Sections 5 and 8 of the Membership Agreement, AMRRP hereby gives notice of its intent to terminate Quartzsite’s Property and Liability coverage effective on midnight, January 6, 2013. Quartzsite has the right to correct its current failure to meet underwriting guidelines within the next ninety days, which will serve as Quartzsite’s “Ninety Day Reinstatement Period.” Quartzsite may seek reinstatement of its coverage within this period by presenting AMRRP with evidence demonstrating that it has cured all of its failures giving rise to this termination of coverage. If after Quartzsite has provided evidence of correction AMRRP determines, in the exercise its sole and absolute discretion, reinstatement of coverage is appropriate based on sound business judgment, loss control and underwriting criteria, and loss experience during the Ninety Day Reinstatement Period, coverage under the Coverage Agreement will be reinstated.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this termination notice.

Sincerely,

Ann Gergen
President for-AMRRP

(Above is a transcription of a cancellation letter to the Town of Quartzsite Arizona from its “insurance” carrier, Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool. Emphasis added by editor.)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR SAVE THE LETTER OF CANCELLATION

 
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Foster Not Seated – Workman Warns Council

09 Oct

Today at 9:00 am the Quartzsite Town Council met. After an executive session opportunity to consult, the members returned to the public chambers. Public comments were allowed. Many speakers were heard. Those of one “faction” appeared to know in advance that there would be public discussion. They had prepared speeches, some typewritten.  

The vote was 4 -2 to NOT accept the proposed settlement agreement worked out between attorneys for the Town and for elected Mayor Ed Foster. The result is that Mayor Foster was again denied the seat he earned in the May election.

Pat Workman made a statement warning the council of consequences if they proceeded with their proposed act of censure, but they did indeed censure the new council member. The report on which the allegations were based was revised and read into the record. Also, at the last minute, Town Clerk Terry Frausto changed her statement made during the investigation.

CLICK HERE FOR October 9 audio of meeting before exec session

CLICK HERE FOR October 9 audio of meeting after exec session

Video much appreciated, contributed by Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC (copyright)

 

 
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Attempt To Censure Council Member Workman

02 Oct

In a one-sided hearing, a Quartzsite council “committee” today referred to an inadequate report by a private detective (again at Town expense) as a basis for comments to politically criticize their adversary. In the report, Patricia Workman was alleged to be associated with the improper release of a document.

Council member Jewitt took the report as truth, and levied personal criticism for Workman’s choice of friends. Chair person Patricia Anderson (“speechless”) assumed all the report to be true and said Workman had not abided by the code of ethics. 

Council member Workman listened from the public seating and is preparing a public statement.

Video much appreciated, contributed by Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC (copyright)

 

 
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