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Quartzsite Council Met December 21 2012

03 Jan

CONSENT AGENDA:

1. Approve ledger of accounts paid …total  $394,529.65

2. Approve Minutes of Regular Meeting December 11, 2012

3. Appoint Dennis A. Dole to the Municipal Utility Administration Committee to serve a three (3) year term beginning January 1, 2013

4. Appoint John (Jack) Brown to the Municipal Utility Administration Committee to serve a three (3) year term beginning January 1, 2013.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. Executive Session … discussion … appointment of Lawrence King as Town Magistrate … discussion … to consider its position … regarding the Town’s position regarding an employment contract with Lawrence King … discussion …to consider its position … regarding settlement discussions … to avoid litigation … former Town Manager.

2. Presentation by Dan Jackson from economists.com on the water and sewer rates.

3. Approval to authorized bids for expansion of the waste Water treatment plant.

4. Discussion and possible action to nominate and approve three appointments to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

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

 

Council Hires Town Manager (Interim)

12 Sep

Martin Brannan (Town Attorney) bails out of the meeting at 10:35 minutes on the youtube timeline – immediately after a new Town Manager is agreed on. Brannan is also paid as the Parliamentarian at Council meetings. The meeting continued without a Parliamentarian.
Video much appreciated, contributed by Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC (copyright)

 

Davidson Complains About Johnson

29 Aug

Hal Davidson, former Quartzsite Town Council member, has filed a complaint with Town Hall and Quartzsite Police regarding an incident following yesterday’s Council meeting. CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LETTER:

 
 

Voters’ Choice Shut Out Of Quartzsite Town Hall

19 Jul

Story contributed by Quartzsite Outsider

Today Quartzsite Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson threatened Quartzsite Councilwoman Patricia Workman with trespass if she came to Town hall unannounced or “any administrative area of the town government . . .”

According to Mr. Johnson, Councilwoman Workman now has to make appointments to see HIM prior to performing her public service. And she is not allowed to speak to anyone in Town administration other than Mr. Johnson or she’ll be arrested for trespass!
The way the letter reads, she cannot even file legal papers or inspect the record in the Municipal Court without being arrested!

Ignoring the blatant constitutional violations here, this is a Councilwoman we’re talking about. A public servant. As such, Mr. Johnson’s threat is arguably a violation of the spirit, if not the letter of A.R.S. Section 13-2402, which says,

A. A person commits obstructing governmental operations if, by using or threatening to use violence or physical force, such person knowingly obstructs, impairs or hinders:

1. The performance of a governmental function by a public servant acting under color of his official authority.

Such a violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor for every count.  http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/13/02402.htm

(Given the history in Quartzsite, it’s doubtful Chief Gilbert, or his officers—who days ago admitted to arresting a citizen without probable cause after a phone call from Al Johnson—will arrest his boss. Gilbert’s number is 928-927-4644. Nor will the La Paz County Sheriff, Don Lowery, get involved. (Lowery wrongly claims he doesn’t have jurisdiction in Quartzsite. Even though he sent a deputy to investigate when former Mayor Lizarraga was allegedly assaulted by the Town Attorney, Martin Brannan. 928-669-6141))

The Assistant Town Manager, who seems to be acting on his own without legal authority or advice (since there is no cc: to the Town’s Attorney, Martin Brannan), claims that one reason for his threat is because Councilwoman Workman cannot be trusted with documents marked “Confidential.”

In a bizarre “Animal House” double-secret probation twist, Johnson talks about two documents the Town had made, a secret one for itself and one for Councilwoman Workman, the latter it  distributed only to the Councilwoman. Johnson says Councilwoman Workman cannot be trusted because she released the “confidential” letter to the public. And so he is threatening her with trespass! (An additional implication is that she cannot see any official Town documents Mr. Johnson doesn’t want her to see, confidential or otherwise. Like unauthorized checks?) We don’t know if the letter Al Johnson sent to Councilwoman Workman is also different from an “official” one he wrote for the Town!

But Councilwoman Workman did not violate any law by making Mr. Johnson’s first letter to her public. A phone call to Kathryn Marquoit, Assistant Ombudsman for Public Access (602.285.9136) confirms what Mr. Johnson should know. According to Marquoit, “stamping a letter ‘Confidential’ means nothing.” Marquoit said such a letter would still be available through an Open Record Law request. (Marquoit also offered that “they have some interesting interpretations over there [in Quartzsite].”
Besides, if the Councilwoman had violated a law, the proper remedy would be to report her to the authorities. Not threaten her with trespass. Further, in his letter Johnson libels Councilwoman Workman with unsubstantiated claims of “abusive behavior” from “multiple town employees.” We wonder if that refers to Councilman Workman exposing the unauthorized check for $11,000 signed by town employee Alex Taft and “employee” Vice Mayor Cowell, as reported two days ago?  http://qtown.us/blog/2012/07/17/quartzsite-embezzlement-smoking-gun-found/

So a lowly ASSISTANTTownManager is threatening a Town Councilwoman. This is like a staffer at the Arizona Senate telling a State Senator they couldn’t come to the Senate building! Or that a State Senator could only do public business with the staffer. In any other place, that staffer would be fired for insubordination. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen in Quartzsite until the incumbents are out of power.. That’s why a majority of the voters voted the incumbents out of office in May. But even so, the incumbents refuse to leave! It’s taking a federal and state action to force them out. No wonder Mr. Johnson is so brazen. And ridiculous.

 
 

Why The Delay?

24 May
Whodunnit

Why have the newly elected Mayor and Council members not been seated?

Below is the text shown on the single piece of paper in the
photo. This memo was found posted on the Post Office bulletin board
late today. It is next to the posted Agenda for the June 4 Special
Meeting just scheduled.

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

“To: Terry Frausto, Town Clerk

Re: Special Meeting

Please set a special meeting to canvass the vote of the May  15 election for June 4, 2012  at  9:00 A.M.”

(Signatures, possibly those of  Joe Winslow, Mike Jewitt, Carol Kelley)

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

The meeting could have been scheduled for today or tomorrow. The newly elected officers cannot be sworn in until the  canvass takes place. The people are being made to wait. The names under the request above may clear up the question  of whose idea it was to delay the canvass (certification) of the election results.

 

Town Goes To Court

10 Apr

Join your friends Wednesday April 11 at the Superior Court in Phoenix. The Town has to defend against another suit. This one involves civil election charges brought by John Prutch via his attorney. The time will be 2:00 pm. Address: 201 West Jefferson Street, Room 701.

 
 

You’re Invited – Today

16 Dec

Today.  –  Friday. 3  pm   –   at 400  West Main Street in the community building right in front. A gathering to discuss America’s critical financial crisis. Become aware of how it will affect us in Quartzsite. Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a nationwide organization with interest in your community.

Open Your Invitation to the Town Hall Style Meeting

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

Quartzsite – Bankruptcy Bomb Town Hall

Please Forward to Your Friends and Family in La Paz County

Dear Quartzsite Taxpayer: The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity welcomes all taxpayers, tea partiers, and other concerned citizens from La Paz County (and beyond) to participate in our “Feet to the Fire” Taxpayer Town Hall in Quartzsite on Friday, December 16. Event details below.

The topic of the town hall will be America’sTicking Bankruptcy Bomb, a theme we have borrowed from the title of an important new book by entitlements policy analyst Peter Ferrara. We will spend the first hour talking about federal tax and budget issues, and the second hour talking about state and local tax and budget
issues–including Gov. Jan Brewer’s attempt to set up an ObamaCare/PPACA health insurance exchange (http://tinyurl.com/chamberex). Pasted below is more information about the Bankruptcy Bomb town halls. The town halls are FREE of charge, but we urge you to go to the eventbrite links below and register.

The Bankruptcy Bomb is the Biggest Fiscal Issue Facing Our Country.

Take our quick poll on solving America’s fiscal crisis: http://tinyurl.com/crisisafp

If America does not get a grip on its finances soon, the next generation will have to close to $150 trillion in additional taxes over the next 75 years just to balance the nation’s books. On average, that’s over $30,000 a year in extra taxes for 50 working years for every child in the US currently under the age
of 18. If America does not get government spending under control, those economy-crushing taxes will have to be paid one way or another: either through actual tax levies or through massive currency devaluations of the kind that plagueThird World nations.

The only realistic long-term plan in Congress is Rep. Paul Ryan’s Road Map for America’s Future. The Road Map is a long-term proposal to stabilize federal spending at a sustainable level, keep our promises to Social Security and Medicare recipients who are too old to escape those systems, and allow younger Americans to escape from dependence on government retirement and health care subsidies. In many ways, the Road Map is an agenda for the promotion of freedom, but on the fiscal front, its objective is to create the
economic growth and the budget surpluses necessary to pay down our debt and to fund the long-term transition away from inherently bankrupt systems of government-centered retirement and health care.

AFP-Arizona does not agree 100 percent with all of the elements of the Road Map plan. But we do believe that the Road Map must be the starting point for serious bipartisan and multi-generational discussions about the fiscal future of this country. Our Taxpayer Town Hall series is designed to
begin that discussion in earnest. We welcome the participation of our federal and state elected officials,
but our invitation carries with it a stern warning: We expect them to keep this country from going bankrupt, and we will hold their Feet to the Fire!

December 16, 2011 – 3:00 to 5:00 in Quartzsite

Casa Del Sol Community Center, 400 W. Main St.,Quartzsite,AZ

Legislators Attending: TBA      

Policy Speakers: Tom Jenney, Director, AFP-Arizona; Alan Korwin,
Author Political Districts: CD 2, LD 3 (old maps)

Registration & Directions:         http://qtowntownhall.eventbrite.com/

For questions about the town halls, contact AFP-Arizona grassroots
coordinator Judy Hoelscher at (623) 465-4767 / judy@afphq.org.

Invitation to Elected Officials and Candidates

AFP-Arizona welcomes federal, state and local officials and candidates to participate. We will recognize elected officials and candidates, and encourage town hall attendees to ask them questions. But we advise officials and candidates to remember that this is a Feet to the Fire town hall, and to be prepared to answer some tough
questions. At this link, we have posted a few of those questions: http://tinyurl.com/hardquest

Preparing for AFP-Arizona’s Taxpayer Town Halls No advance preparation is necessary, but we recommend that taxpayers, tea partiers, and other concerned citizens obtain copies of America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, an important new book by policy analyst Peter Ferrara:

http://broadsidebooks.net/book/americas-ticking-bankruptcy-bomb/peter-ferrara/

A short summary of the long-term Road Map for America’s Future plan is provided here:

http://americansforprosperity.org/files/AFPRyanRoadmap.pdf

To prepare for the discussion of state and local policy, we recommend that participants read Chapter 8 (on “Failed States”) in theFerrara book.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney, Arizona Director

Americans for Prosperity   www.aztaxpayers.org  tjenney@afphq.org   (602)478-0146

 
 

Congratulations Jose

31 Aug

Jose Lizzarga was elected by the people yesterday. Let’s give Jose a chance. Let’s also ask Jose the question:  

Will you insist on seeing who each and every town check is written to, or will you approve them in anonymity, in batches?   Would you please release a statement, by any means, on this critical issue?

 

 

Special Council Meeting Tuesday 9 am

04 Aug

Mayor Foster has called for a special Quartzsite Town Council meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 9:00 am at Quartzsite Town Hall. On the agenda is one item: discussion and possible action to declare that a state of emergency exists in Quartzsite, Arizona. (open for public discussion)

See the details here     August 9 2011 Special Council Meeting

 
 

MEETING TODAY 10am TOWN HALL

12 Jul

The bulletin boards carry notices of a meeting – this morning. The police officers were incorrectly told that is was scheduled for 9am. Arrive early – metal detector may be in place. Just ARRIVE!

OPEN MEETING LAW violation: This meeting  will be illegal due to insufficient notice to public. The website was never posted with a notice of the meeting. Many did not learn of it except by word of mouth, indicating that the “online” public is unaware. Additionally, the Quartzsite Town website could not be accessed this morning at 6:50 due to the town not providing sufficient bandwidth to maintain service.

Those people who subscribe to the town’s service where an advance email notice is sent to each of them were also left out. At least I was.

 
 

Police Chief Gilbert Talks About Students:

07 Jul

May 18 2011 at Town Hall meeting held at QIA building, in answer to a question about what is being done about recent “tagging” where public park equipment is being vandalized by spray painting:

“We’re going to do our best to try to figure out who it is. There’s been a few kids from Blythe like younger kids that are going to school here now we’ll look into that connection …. “

No other specific group of suspects was mentioned. Comments from Blythe students and their parents are welcome.

 
 

For The Record

29 Jun

This complaint was filed today.

Regarding unreasonably restrictive Town Council meeting access by the public and meeting safety issues:

  1. Police, council, town officials, staff, and town attorney, have together given the appearance of conspiring, by the use of hand and thumb signals and head nods, during a council meeting, especially in regard to effecting the ejection of a citizen from a council meeting.
  2. A host of new rules were implemented at the most recent meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council of June 28 2011. They were confusing to the public. The new rules were not published in any substantial manner to give the public some notice that in order to even enter the building, an earlier arrival time must be planned. Many meeting visitors were not able to enter after 100 persons had taken seats. No public address system exists outside the meeting room doors. By being denied access to the room, some citizens were denied to hear or address the council (at the podium). Citizens were reprimanded by the assistant town manager for moving their selected folding chair – a few inches.
  3. While standing in the aisle, waiting my own turn at the podium, the chief of police approached me and insisted that I could not carry my snapshot camera sized video camera there, and should give it to someone else to operate. I complied by handing the camera to a woman in the front row. It is my belief that such personal recording is legal at any time and must be permitted.
  4. On multiple occasions, the public is denied the right to address the council at the appropriate time during “call to the public”. On these occasions, council members left their seats and effectively terminated meetings, without regard to citizens desiring to share information from the podium.
  5. Council is inconsistent in their interest in meeting rules. At a recent meeting, Councilman Lizzaraga left his council seat during “call to the public” to use the public podium to speak. He chose to face the public, rather than follow the rule requiring speakers to face the council only.
  6. The police department and town officials are inconsistent in their interest in public safety. Rules were not applied consistently. The chief of police first announced that the new rules were for public safety, due to the behavior at the June 14 meeting. For that reason, people were to keep the aisles clear, and were instructed not to stand around. Nonetheless, at times, that was permitted, and as many as 4 people were lined up in the side aisle while waiting to use the podium.
  7. The police department and town officials are inconsistent in their interest in public safety. At a prior meeting, I questioned police Sergeant Frausto why one side of the double glass entry doors was locked during that meeting. (This door has signage above it indicating that it must always be unlocked). He said that it was to be kept that way to avoid a loud noise that the door makes when someone passes through it. I inquired what would happen if there was a panic or emergency during the meeting? The assistant building official, nearby, then volunteered to stay near the door, and quickly release it, should that occur. The sergeant concurred. Later during the meeting, I took note that the door had been unlocked. I decided not to make a complaint at that time.
  8. The police department and town officials are inconsistent in their interest in public safety. The meeting room occupancy limit was enforced for the first time in memory, at the meeting of June 28 2011. Was public safety not important before this date?
  9. New surveillance was installed but not announced.

10.  A citizen, while speaking during the “call to the public” segment at the end of the meeting was ordered by council members to be removed, and was in fact arrested, for no apparent reason. Of particular interest was the town attorney’s statement of opinion regarding the council’s unusual motion to eject the citizen. That opinion could not be heard. Please reveal the contents of that opinion.

11.  A citizen was accosted and questioned by the chief of police for merely walking through the main aisle from his seat.

12.  Citizens with good hearing and bad were unable to hear many of the council’s statements. This occurred in spite of a reasonable sound system. Council members, staff members, the town attorney, and the town managers have for months refused to properly use the microphone provided for each of them. Earphones are said to be available in the quantity of 1 or 2, but are not brought to the meeting for use by any person.

13.  The police department and town officials are inconsistent in their interest in public safety. A fire door appeared to be propped open during the meeting of June 28 2011. This was the door between the council area and unoccupied rear offices.

 
 

Accident Waiting To … (See Video)

29 Nov

Watch video here:

Crosswalk Sign Quartzsite Main Street

Be nimble - few stop for pedestrians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hDz58fe8P8

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!

Douglas Gilford

 
 

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