Two months after police requested a criminal investigation into Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Quartzsite residents are still living in the twilight zone, and not a word from Governor Jan Brewer or Attorney General Tom Horne.
Although town code requires regular meetings of the Common Council to be held at 7pm, today's irregular "regular" meeting was held at 9am, and with the addition of a metal detector at the front door to town hall. The members of council enter through the back door, and no metal detector has been installed there. Sgt. Fabiola Garcia was videotaped text messaging on her phone, while several citizens walked around the metal detector, however. While the council may be arming themselves with guns, the citizens continue to arm themselves with cameras. This appears to be a more effective approach.
Despite Mayor Foster's refusal to call the potentially illegal meeting to order, the council proceeded anyway. They approved a zoning change for the property adjacent to Vice Mayor Cowell's property, so that a gun shop and shooting range may be built 372 feet from the Scholar's Academy. They passed the transaction priveledge tax of 2.5% (3.5% for licensed contractors) This expands the scope of business to which the Transaction Priveledge Tax applies, from the 16 categories currently paying for the priveledge" of doing business in Arizona. Council also moved the appointment of a councilperson to fill Jose Lizarraga's vacant seat to a work session (TBA).
Nobody in authority has expressed an official interest, nor offered any advice beyond a mandamus or federal injunction to stop the bizare and shocking actions by Quartzsite officials after declaring that an emergency exists, and basically abdicating any responsibility to the town manager Alexandra Taft, and her employees the police chief, town attorney, and building official. Mayor Foster had previously tried a mandamus, but Superior Court Judge Michael Burke dismissed the demand, ruling that a citizen had no standing to request his or her elected officials obey they law. Jones filed an injunction in pro per last December, but did not respond to the motion to dismiss filed by the town's insurance lawyers, in order to refile with legal council. She is asking any attorney familiar with federal law to assist in refiling immediately.