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Posts Tagged ‘Election’

Quartzsite’s Incompetent Town Council

25 Oct

At the last meeting, the Quartzsite Town Council:

1. Fired Police Chief Jeff Gilbert (his second firing in about a year). Reported cost to taxpayers to break the Chief’s contract is at least $85,000 $116,000.

2. Appointed a new Council member without adequately examining her qualifications. The presiding Quartzsite Municipal Court judge yesterday refused to swear in the new unelected appointee – Monica Timberlake. The judge’s reasons:

1. “interrupts judicial proceedings” 2. “owes the court money” 3. “breaking the law …[that the appointee is]…  swearing to uphold”.

 
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(Very) Special Meeting Today

28 Aug

A full house present to watch. Town Manager Alexandra Taft placed on administrative leave – the same fate met by many her former long experienced employees. New Town Manager appointed: Terry Frausto (Town Clerk).

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

 
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Quartzsite Town Attorney Sues His Own Clients!

28 Aug

Martin Brannan

Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan filed a petition for a Temporary Restraining Order this morning ostensibly on behalf of the Town of Quartzsite (plaintiff) against the Town’s elected officials! (Town Council, defendants). So, in effect, Mr. Brannan is suing the Town on behalf of the Town! (Interestingly, he is suing his own clients, to whom he gives legal advice.)

It appears the motive for this bizarre move was to  protect his job, since the Town Council was to consider firing the Town Manager and Assistant Town Manager, who hired and sustain Mr. Brannan. (Mr Brannan has been  the subject of numerous Bar complaints, still pending, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.) Mr. Brannan claims such firings would be illegal. But

1) if true, it wouldn’t be the first time the Town acted illegally. The old Town council has routinely held illegal meetings, as the State AG has already ruled. Mr. Brannan never filed a TRO to stop those illegal meetings. And

2) a TRO is supposed to be issued only after an act, when actual harm is alleged. Not before.

Surprisingly (or not, considering his track record for the town), La Paz County Superior Court Michael Burke signed off the TRO, which this reporter believes fails the 4 basic legal tests for a TRO at every point. (If nothing else, ignoring Mr. Brannan’s obvious conflict of interest, Mr. Brannan lacks standing to sue the Town Council on behalf of the Town. Clearly, the Town Council did not authorize this suit against them.) In essence, what Judge Burke has done is akin to barring the Arizona Legislature from voting on SB 1070 because it might be unconstitutional. A TRO is not ripe until a law or act has been ratified. You can’t get a TRO because of what someone “might” do. There has to be actual harm.

Now Judge Burke has created a constitutional issue, a violation of Article III, Distribution of Powers clause in the AZ Constitution, because the Judicial is telling the Legislative what it can and cannot do.

Hopefully the Arizona Attorney General will step in with an emergency appeal to the Arizona Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Burke as it has done a few times already.

——————

“A party seeking injunctive relief must show:

1. that they are likely to succeed on the merits,

2. that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,

3. that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and

4. that the injunction is in the public interest.”

At minimum, it is hard to see how it is not in the public interest for elected officials to do their job.

[contributed by Quartzsite Outsider – Thanks!]

 
 

Quartzsite Police Chief Suspended

23 Aug

Jeff Gilbert

Current Police Chief Jeff Gilbert is suspended with pay, pending due process. Allegations not revealed. Sgt. James Schultz appointed acting chief by Town Manager Alex Taft. Sgt. Fabiola Garcia of Laveen Arizona, long time good friend of Jeff and Sondra Gilbert, also suspended.

FULL  STORY  AT :     PARKERLIVEONLINE.COM

 
 

RV Tent Show Owner Mistreated By Town

20 Aug

The ownership of the biggest annual event in Quartzsite has made a complaint to the Town of Quartzsite and hired an attorney to combat their unwillingness to communicate. The owners wish to resolve the matter of a  sudden huge increase in the normal charge for sewer usage at the property where the tent is erected each visitor season.

Kenny King’s letter of complaint available for viewing   HERE   or   HERE.

 
 

Mayor Warns Councilmember Anderson

16 Aug

Today this letter was delivered to Quartzsite Councilmember Patricia Anderson. Anderson is warned in the letter against taking action that may be a misedmeanor crime: usurpation of office. Click on photo to enlarge.

Today's Letter Mayor Foster to Anderson

 
 

Jennifer Jones Exonerated Today

15 Aug

Jennifer Jones prevailed in Quartzsite Municipal Court today. She was again falsely charged by the Town Assistant Manager Albert A. Johnson, this time for operating a business without a license. Jones demonstrated that indeed “Furry Friends” pet salon was licensed at the time of the multiple citations, issued last October.

During the proceedings, all present were able to view the license on a large screen. Johnson responded “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know” to many questions from Jones, who represented herself. Al Johnson said he did not “believe” Jones had a proper license, but could not demonstrate to Judge Lawrence King how or why. The fourth charge against Jones, for operating a kennel without a license, was dismissed because the Town has no kennel license!

Often, if a business is thought to be out of compliance with the Town code, a Notice of Violation is tendered the owner.  This allows most infractions to be taken care of informally. In Jones’ case, the Town chose to immediately file multiple criminal charges, for each day that Johnson thought the code had been violated by opening the dog grooming business for business. Johnson said he did so “because we can”.

A special prosecutor had to be hired from Maricopa County to bring the case to trial, at additional expense to the taxpayers of Quartzsite, Arizona.

 
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Council Met Yesterday

15 Aug

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

 
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Quartzsite Woman Seeks Supervisor Position

08 Aug

Jennifer Jones

 

Jennifer Jones will appear on the August 25 primary ballot for La Paz County Supervisor, District  3 (the part of town south of Interstate 10). She is the only Quartzsite candidate to appear on the ballot. HEAR HER ADDRESS THE PUBLIC at “Meet the Candidates” night last July 26.

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

 
 

Send In Your $20

28 Jul

In the May 15 general election, the cost per council seat to hold a [necessary] election is about $2,333.

Costs [unnecessary] of about $60,000 have been incurred for the losing effort by the Quartzsite  Town leadership – to prevent Mark Orgeron from rightfully taking his seat, even though mandated by the voters!

The math says that those costs average about $20 for each person living in Quartzsite. Example: A family of four – $80. Either now or later.

 
 

Mark Orgeron Seated On Council

27 Jul

 

Mark Orgeron

At today’s special Quartzsite Town Council meeting, Mark Orgeron was sworn in as Council member by Judge T. Carnevale. Orgeron replaces Barbara Cowell who was to attend the meeting but did not appear. She has been accused of usurping. Mr. Orgeron was elected May 15 in the general election. Town leadership took actions to prevent him from taking his Council seat. Since that date, hundreds of very patient Quartzsite voters have waited to see their newly elected official “on the job”. Mr. Orgeron was warmly greeted by members of the Town Council who only hours before had defied his right to the seat. Mr. Orgeron was forced to hire law firm Snell & Wilmer LLP to take the Town to United States District Court in Phoenix to bring about the inevitable outcome. This nearly all at Town taxpayer expense of tens of thousands of dollars.

Mr. Orgeron will begin his duties immediately. He is your representative if you live in Quartzsite. He can be contacted by calling the Town offices at (928) 927-4333.

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

 
 

Martin Brannan Disrespects Councilwoman Workman During Meeting

24 Jul

As an apparent personal attack this morning on Councilwoman Pat Workman, current Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan stated:

“I don’t know what BIZARRE UNIVERSE the former council members that Ms. Workman talked about live in, but …”.

“I don’t know of any municipality that operates in such a backwards fashion.”

He was referring to the Councilwoman’s prior complaint that Town checks were being issued to vendors well before the Council’s actual approval.  Brannan was trying to say that she was describing a practice not followed by any other municipality in [his] universe.

HOWEVER, a reader of this website named “RBmt” graciously offered the results of some online research. It seems that many towns follow such a practice in this very universe:

1.  approve the expenditure   2.  sign the checks.

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

July 24, 2012at3:56 pm

Mr. Brannan claims:
“When you approve the checks, you are not approving the checks being paid, you are approving the ledger of the checks that have been paid… What you are approving is the ledger… if you refuse to approve the ledger this does not mean that the check has not been paid, cashed, or cleared… I don’t know of any municipality that operates in such a backwards fashion.”

I disagree. This is exactly how it works in my city, in the small town I grew up in, and a very quick Google search produces several confirming statements:

Bonney Lake, WA “The City’s general payment terms are net 30 days. The Accounts Payable section is responsible for
processing vendor invoices and other remittances in a timely manner. The City issues checks twice a month after approval by the City Council, with payments mailed out after approval. ”

Woodbury, NJ “The City of Woodbury has a centralized Accounts Payable system that processes payment of invoices following approval by the City department that made the purchase and the bill list approval by City Council.”

Corcoran, CA “Checks are issued twice a month after approval by the City Council which meets the first and third Monday of the month. Invoices are due in at least two weeks prior to each meeting to ensure proper processing.”

Douglas, WY “All payments for purchases of goods or services may only be made with prior approval from City Council. Prepare & present vendor payment requests to City Council for approval. Approval is made at the first Council meeting of each month, which is held on the second Monday. Deadline for payment requests is Tuesday prior to the second Monday of each month.”

Ashdown, AR (City council minutes)  “After a brief overview from City Clerk Kirk Mounts the accounts payable for the month of May and the June payrolls were approved for payment by the Council on a motion made by Council Member Pennington, seconded by Council Member Adkison. Motion carried.”

 
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Attention! Council Meets Tomorrow – Wednesday 9:30am

24 Jul

SPECIAL MEETING CALLED

Tomorrow at 9:30 am the Quartzsite Town Council will meet to essentially consider allowing newly elected Council member Mark Orgeron to be properly recognized. Orgeron brought a legal action against the Town of Quartzsite in U.S. District Court in Phoenix to force the Town to drop their resistance to allowing him to take his Council seat. The Town and Orgeron’s attorney Kory Langhofer of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. reached a settlement agreement compromise, which the Council will have an opportunity to approve at the meeting.

Kory A. Langhofer

 

 
 

July 24 Town Council Meeting

24 Jul

New revelations.

Copyright Southwest Desert News / MPI, LLC

 
 

New Councilman Mark Orgeron Prevails In Federal Court

21 Jul

Story contributed by Quartzsite Outsider

Late Friday afternoon federal Judge Roslyn Silver ruled in favor of Quartzsite Town Councilman-in-waiting Mark Orgeron, in the matter of Orgeron v. Town of Quartzsite.

At issue was the Town’s patently frivolous contention that Mr. Orgeron was not a resident of Quartzsite. Judge Silver was very  gracious toward the Town, giving it every benefit of the doubt, not getting angry or using the word “frivolous.” Nevertheless, it’s clear from what she wrote, (excerpts below), that the Town had no basis to prevent Mr. Orgeron from taking his duly elected seat. One hopes, given her statements, that she will award Mr. Orgeron attorney fees because the Town forced him into this action.

But it’s not quite over. Unfortunately, Judge Silver did not immediately order the Town to seat Mr. Orgeron, but told the parties to confer and offer a joint proposed order. Their deadline is Tuesday the 24th, the day of yet another Town Council meeting without the Town’s duly elected official in office.

(Mr. Orgeron had also sought to use this action to seat Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster. However, since Mr. Foster was not a party to this lawsuit, Judge Silver could not make a ruling to seat him one way or the other. Mr. Foster is still waiting on the state’s Quo Warranto action.)

Judge Silver’s Order can be downloaded  HERE .

Poignant excerpt below:

———-

The Court admits to some confusion regarding Defendants’ decision to disqualify Plaintiff based on these statutes.   There can be no serious dispute that Plaintiff had an “actual physical presence” in Quartzsite for close to three years prior to the election.

Defendants [Town] presumably had some basis for determining Plaintiff was not a resident of Quartzsite but Defendants chose not to present the Court with that basis.

————–

 
 
 

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