Thursday, May 24, 2012

Audio and transcript - Outgoing mayor assaulted by town attorney?​UKFZjs58I_w

02:35 Mayor Lizarraga
 “Hey, hey, hey, nothing please. Please be respectful, courteous, I’m sorry for wasting your time.

02:36   Cowell
“He can’t do that”

02:40 Martin Brannan to Mayor Lizarraga
 “I’ll be reporting this to the AG, Mr. Mayor.”

02:42 Councilman Jewitt(*at 2:48 in video)
 “Point of Order”

2:44 Brannan (continues) to Mayor Lizarraga
(*at 2:50 in video)
 “That you’re fined.”

2:46 Lizarraga to Martin Brannan
(*at 2:56 in video)
 “That’s fine. You want to arrest me now, Martin?”

2:47    Jewitt

At 2:53 in audio. Brannan has followed Lizarraga to a backroom though doorway seen in right upper corner of below image, Taft is facing toward the open door of backroom. Joe Winslow (seated just to right of flag in the image) is turned toward open door through which Brannan has just followed Lizarraga.

(Unknown person)
"What the hell?"
Councilman Winslow(?)
"What the?"

02:54 Vice Mayor Cowell (referencing the Mayor’s adjourning of the meeting)
 “He can’t do that. He can’t do that. I will tell everybody he’s not allowed to do that.”

02:59 Mayor Lizarraga’s voice picked up on the audio
 “…touch me!”

03:00 to 03:09 Mayor Lizarraga’s voice
 “He came up and he pushed me, he pushed me ______ (Unintelligible).

03:09 Councilman Winslow

03:10 Mayor Lizarraga’s voice
 “Did you see it? Did you see him push me? “

03:12 Councilman Winslow
 “Uh,  yes I did, it was..”

03:25 End of audio

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quartzsite Council refuses to accept defeat

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The phrase "poor sport" doesn't do justice to controversial Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan. Beginning 49 seconds into the video: outgoing Mayor Jose Lizarraga states "On Friday, I asked Alex Taft to put a couple of things on the agenda. These items were not put on the agenda and I feel this that they are detrimental to some decisions that need to be made today. Um, I 'm asking for a special meeting tomorrow at 1 o'clock with these items on this, placed on the agenda. They were canvas of the vote, swearing in of new electoral officers. It's something that needs to happen, I believe prior to making any decisions on today's meeting. With that being the case, this meeting is adjourned.
This can be heard clearly from another camera at:
Then, at 1:47 on the first video, as Mayor elect Ed Foster stands to leave, Brannan can be seen to the right of Foster's head running after Lizarraga. At 1:54, Lizarraga exits the side room and aggitatedly points to the police officer and then to Brannan who is still inside. Lizarraga repeadly gestures with his head and finger and a Quartzsite Police Officer and Town Manager Alexandra Taft enter. Within a few minutes, a member of the La Paz County Sheriff's Office arrives, and enters the back room.
According to witnesses, Taft and Gilbert were overheard telling the sitting mayor "it wasn't really an assault" but locals who listen to the police scanner disagree. It has been reported that Mayor Lizarraga called for a sheriff because QPD refused to take the report, and the responding Sheriff told town resident Dean Taylor "It's under investigation." on his way back to his patrol car. Why Brannan was not arrested is unclear.
After illegal quorums in the back room with the town manager, town attorney, and even former councilman Jerry Lukkasson, the Vice Mayor called a meeting to order and conducted the scheduled business of appointing someone to fill Councilman Lukasson's vacated seat and renew the town managers contract early, with "amendments" that may include a severance package increase.
Mayor Lizarraga (who is also the town's fire captain) had declined to run for his seat in the spring election, after stepping down from the council to run against then Mayor Ed Foster. Foster had been recalled due to a concerted effort by Councilman Jerry Lukkasson and his supporters. Foster beat Lizarraga at the polls, but when the mail in ballots were added to the totals, the August recall election went to Lizarraga by a margin of 57 votes. Then in November, Lukkasson stepped down to run for mayor, but Foster defeated him in the March Primary Election by a 70 vote margin. However Foster fell a few votes short of the 50% + 1 vote required to avoid a run-off. In the May 15th General Election it wasn't even close with Lukkasson losing by 97 votes. Challengers Mark Orgeron and Patricia Workman defeated incumbents Joe Winslow and Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell by a similar margin.
Now, incumbents and town staff are doing everything in their power to keep the duly elected candidates from taking their seats. At Wednesday's special meeting to canvass the vote, only Mayor Lizarraga and one other member of the council showed up. No action could be taken or certificates of election could be issued due to a lack of Quorum. Say tuned. Anything can happen in Quartzsite, and it usually does.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Notice something MISSING from tomorrow's agenda?
No canvass of the vote and no swearing in of the winners... but it does include appointing someone to the seat left vacant last year when Jerry Lukkasson stepped down to run for mayor, and a preemptive renewall of Town Manager Alex Taft's contract. So, if the contract renewal is up for a vote TOMORROW, then what contract did Jerry Lukkasson give to a group of men in lawyer suits that he told them was signed by Taft this afternoon?

Vol 2 issue 11

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Voters send clear message - incumbents ousted!

It wasn't even close. By a landslide, Quartzsite voters have said that they want change. Former Mayor Ed Foster beat former Councilman Jerry Lukkasson by 97 votes, with only 33 provisional ballots to be verified. This time around, Foster will no longer be the "Lone Ranger", unable to get a second to his motions. Challengers Mark Orgeron and Patricia Workman beat the  incumbents, Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell and Councilman Joe Winslow by a similar margin. 

Nobody expects them to go quietly however...



1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
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Council Member

1 of 1 Precincts Reporting
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