Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Council ousts town manager today
Quartzsite Town Manager Alex Taft was placed on administrative leave today by a majority of the Quartzsite Common Council. The details were discussed in executive session, behind closed doors.
Taft is going to remain on the payroll, but must hand over keys and other town property while on leave. She will be checking in with the Town each morning from home (Town Attorney Martin Brannan said Taft is moving house at the moment so may be in one of two places during work hours).
No public reason was given for the Town’s action today, which came less than 2 hours after a signed restraining order from La Paz County Superior Court Judge Michael Burke, which barred the council’s actions on the original agenda. There was some exchange between councilman Mark Orgeron and Brannan as they argued about whether they could even convene in executive session.
The special meeting lasted a total of approximately one hour.

La Paz County August 28th early unnoficial Republican Primary Election results

U.S. Senator (REP) (Vote For 1) 12 of 12 Precincts Reporting
Choice     Votes Percent
375 23.53%
921 57.78%
127 7.97%
159 9.97%
Write-in (REP)
12 0.75%

U.S. Rep. in Congress - Dist. 4 (REP) (Vote For 1)
Choice     Votes Percent
512 31.26%
487 29.73%
638 38.95%
Write-in (REP)
1 0.06%

State Senator - Dist. 5 (REP) (Vote For 1)
Choice     Votes Percent
332 20.49%
536 33.09%
752 46.42%
Write-in (REP)
0 0.00%

State Representative - Dist. 5 (REP) (Vote For 2)

487 23.81%
396 19.36%
808 39.51%
351 17.16%
Write-in (REP)
3 0.15%

Corporation Commissioner (REP) (Vote For 3)

835 31.60%
776 29.37%
1,013 38.34%
Write-in (REP)
18 0.68%

Monday, August 27, 2012

Special council meeting at 3 pm tomorrow?

It's on, it's's back on again, for tomorrow. No, it's not? Rumors are coming in that La Paz County Superior Court Judge Michael Burke has issued temporary injunctions to the members of the Quartzsite Council, preventing them from attending tomorrow's special meeting, posted below. Stay tuned...information will be made available as I have it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blythe to consider RV parking Ordinance

By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent
August 25, 2012
BLYTHE, Calif – The First Reading of a new city ordinance to restrict RV parking on the streets of the City will be at the Tuesday City Council meeting. The 2-day limit parking on-street parking restrictions are being proposed by Mayor Galvin and the Blythe Police Department.
Apparently the Blythe Police Department has received complaints regarding motor homes and other RVs, trailers and utility vehicles being parked for long periods of time on city streets. The City's current ordinance as written does not give the City the authority to take action on violators.
Two of the three main provisions of the proposed ordinance are:
  • No person shall park or leave standing any Recreational Vehicle or Trailer, regardless of length or width, upon any public street or highway in the City for a period of time exceeding forty-eight (48) hours.
  • No person shall run electrical cords, extension cords, hoses, cables, or other items across, above or on the parkway or sidewalk from a residential or commercial property to a Recreational Vehicle or Trailer parked on a public street.
The new ordinance was developed by legal council and the Police Department after receiving input from the City Council apparently as the result of a study session held at City Hall at the request of Mayor Galvan, to determine if there was a need.
The written materials claim it is best suited for our City, that it provides the police with the proper tool to take action when they receive a complaint of extended storage of RV and utility trailers on the street.
The ordinance however does not limit police to complaints for enforcement.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Special meeting cancelled?

In true Quartzsite style, the news changes rapidly. Last night after the Town's press release, Councilman Mark Orgeron emailed the following comment to the DFP: "As a result, we have chosen not to fight this as it will only be a couple days difference.  On Monday, we will ask for another special meeting.  See you at the meeting on Monday."

It appears the the town administration is not in solidarity any longer.  The Desert Messenger reports that Town Manager Alex Taft fraudulently published yesterday's press release as originating from Town Attorney Martin Brannan, which Brannan alegedly denies.

One thing is certain, however, in Quartzsite, atomorrow will be another dramatic day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quartzsite Council calls special Saturday meeting

Newly seated Quartzsite , AZ Councilman Mark Orgeron, Councilwoman Carol Kelly, and illegally appointed Councilwoman Norma Crooks have signed to convene a special meeting of the common council, tomorrow, Saturday, August 25th, at 4 pm.  However, Town Clerk Terry Frausto reportedly refused to post the notice, forcing at least one council member and others to post them on the public bulletin boards around town. Town employees may have promptly taken them down.

The surprise move comes in the wake of two press releases, one from Town Manager Alexandra Taft, which stated that she had placed scandal plagued Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia on administrative leave without explanation, and the other  from Chief Gilbert stating that he had been "exonerated" and that Attorney General Tom Horne had refused to prosecute him for undisclosed crimes.

The agenda for the meeting contains two items. One is to discuss taking action against the town manager, and the other is to possibly reinstate the police chief.

Town Manager Taft has reportedly had the locks changed at Town Hall and the Police Department. Sources say that the meeting will take place on the steps of Quartzsite Town Hall, as staff is not expected to unlock the building. 

The Town issued the following press release today:


Fire claims life of Linda Garrett

Last night around 9pm, a fire in the trailer belonging to Linda Garrett, claimed her life. Garrett, age 65, of Quartzsite, was reportedly trapped in her bathroom when the fire broke out. A hard working employee of the ARCO on Riggles Rd. she will be missed by many. The cause of the fire is unknown, but is believed to have began in the kitchen. A witness reports that first responders on the scene drove around for precious minutes before they were able to locate Garrett's trailer.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Police Chief Gilbert, Sgt. Garcia placed on leave today

According to Quartzsite Town Manager Alex Taft, in an official
statement from the Town of Quartzsite this afternoon:

This is in stark contradiction to a press release issued by Chief Gilbert earlier this month which stated:

For Immediate Release: Statement from Quartzsite 
Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert on DPS Report #2011-027462

Quartzsite, Arizona - On August 13, 2012, I received a completed copy of the criminal investigation conducted by the AZ Department of Public Safety (DPS) against myself and Sgt. Xavier Frausto. This report included the "Turndown" notice declining the case by the AZ Attorney General's Office, dated July 12/13, 2012. The allegations and complaint was initiated by then Quartzsite Mayor Ed Foster.

The case was declined for the following reasons stated by the turndown report as: "Victim/Witness Credibility Problems"; "Inadequate Evidence of Intent"; "Inadequate Evidence of Corroboration"; and "No Reasonable Likelihood of Conviction".

This is the third criminal investigation I have been subjected to along with members of my department from false allegations and complaints made by then Mayor Ed Foster. I have been exonerated, along with the other members of the department each time. Sergeant Xavier Frausto has served this community for nearly twenty years with his complete dedication to the community.

I have documented evidence that Ed Foster participated with another party and submitted a fabricated and forged letter to DPS in 2010 in an attempt to lend credibility to the first of his false allegations and complaints. While I brought this matter to the attention of DPS, to my knowledge they declined any further investigation of the incident.

Ed Foster, along with others, continues to this day in his attempt to discredit, and have me criminally charged, as the Chief of Police for the Quartzsite Police Department. His latest false allegations and complaints created an investigation and finding period that lasted nearly fourteen months resulting in an unknown loss and waste of the tax payer's dollar, not to mention the undue hardship that was created to the community, the Town, the Department, Sgt. Frausto, myself and our families. 

On behalf of the Quartzsite Police Department, myself and all those affected, I wish to thank the Town and community members of Quartzsite that have provided their continued support and stood behind us over the course of these false allegations and complaints.

I will continue with my dedication to the Town of Quartzsite as Chief of Police, to serve and protect and to provide the best possible police services to the community. Again, I wish to thank everyone for their support.

Jeff Gilbert
Chief of Police
Quartzsite Police Department 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Invocation versus moment of silence?

In a public display of faith, Quartzsite residents were actually allowed to speak on a proposal to permanently replace the invocation with a moment of silence. The council unanimously chose to disregard the recommendation of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and once again they chose prayer over the constitution, case law.
Quartzsite's history of prayer in the meeting room began with appointed acting mayor Wes Huntley, who thought he was so pious that he should personally invoke Jesus' name. After Ed Foster was elected as Mayor, and he gave the invocation, Huntley supporters were outraged and pushed for an ammendment to stop the mayor from leading the people in a request for divine guidance, at the council meeting on 10-26-10.

102610 – 6. Discussion and possible approval of Ordinance No. 10-18; amending the Town Code Chapter 2 – Mayor and Council, Section 2-4-6 – Order of Business. Council Member Lukkasson motioned to approve Ordinance No. 10-18; amending the Town Code Chapter 2 – Mayor and Council, Section 2-4-6 – Order of Business. Motion seconded by Council Member Kelley. Ms. Jennifer Harris, resident, comments regarding her research on this item. Council Member Winslow calls for Point of Order. Ms. Harris suggests observing a Moment of Silence instead of the Invocation. Mayor Foster states this is another attempt of this Council to deprive the Mayor of the authority of the Council Meeting and if this item passes he has no intention of letting the Council dictate who gets to do the invocation. Mayor Foster states that it is the Mayor’s prerogative to do that and will continue to do that. Mayor Foster states should this become an issue it will go to court. Discussion regarding the Invocation portion of the agenda. Mayor Foster calls for the vote. Vote – 6 in favor, 1 opposed (Mayor Foster). MOTION CARRIED.

Town Code 2-4-6 officially lists the invocation as part of the Town Council Meeting agenda, and states it is to be performed by a member of clergy or a member of the council.

The Establishment Clause of the First Ammendment to the U.S. Constitional states,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
Together with the Free Exercise Clause ("... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), these two clauses make up what are called the "religion clauses" of the First Amendment.[1]

The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Supervisor's son dies in stabbing

A man who died in a stabbing incident that occurred Friday evening south of Parker, AZ has been unoficially identified as thirty year old Danny Pierce. Pierce is the son of current District 1 County Supervisor Sandy Pierce.

FBI spokesman Special Agent Manuel Johnson told the Parker Pioneer that the agency was conducting a homicide investigation involving a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and a non-tribal member. He stated that a suspect was in tribal custody.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Council attacks new member

Some comments on the subject courtesy of Facebook

    • Pam Wirkkala I spoke (a week ago or so, by phone) to Council woman Workman about my expectation the Council would censure her at it's first opportunity. The notice of which Mayor Foster is referring, I cannot find posted online, yet. It must be on a bulletin board only, at this time. An image of the Notice for an ad hoc committee meeting would be helpful for us who archive the Town's paper trail. The censure effort reportedly underway maybe for #1) Council woman Workman asking, at the JULY 24 Meeting, for Council woman Carol Kelley to recuse herself from a vote (view here: ) on an investigation item against a local property owner;; this was the only New Business item on the agenda. Council member Workman felt a conflict of interest might be perceived (purportedly involving Council woman Kelley's daughter having a prior land-lord tenant relationship with the property owner); and/or #2) Council woman Workman allegedly speaking 'out of order' (view here: ) during the comments part of the meeting, or any flimsy excuse they can concoct. As to issue #1, Council woman Workman was quickly accused by another of making a personal attack upon Kelley by way of Workman's statement of the basis for her request that Kelley recuse herself from the vote. The Minutes of this meeting can be viewed here NOTE: that there is NO mention in the Minutes of Workman asking Kelley to recuse herself from voting on the new business item, but there is a notation that Workman allegedly spoke "out of order" when, during the Reports/Announcements time of the meeting, Council woman Workman reported her findings and information regarding how public monies were ALREADY disbursed to the private investigators [hired to harass Brannan's list of PROFILED-citizens who voted in the May 15 election] before the Council was provided the information on a prior Consent Agenda as to the costs of the "private" investigation as to one of the checks being scrutinized by Council member Workman.

    • Jerry Davis Is there any information about the legitimacy of such a sub-committee? As a subset of the Council, an ad-hoc committee must be appointed during an open and public meeting with all Council members present and participating. Just getting together in the back room and inventing a sub-committee of your like-thinking buddies doesn't make it legitimate. As currently constituted, this body has no authority to do anything.
      9 hours ago ·

    • Jerry Davis As far as the open meetings law "violation" goes, the intent of the law is to prohibit the Council from debating and reaching consensus on an item that's not on the agenda. So. that contention falls on two grounds: first, in at least one case the checks were on the agenda, in the other, the member was asking a staff member for information on the status of an action the staff was asked to take. Second, there was no discussion among the members, there was no consensus, and there was no action taken.

      Vigorous debate is a valuable part of public meetings, the law is not intented to gag the members, just to make sure they don't try to take action on a topic the public hasn't been notified about.

      The real area of off-agenda discussion was that volunteered by the City Attorney with his long bloviating monolog on multiple unagendized topics.

      Bottom line, there's no public meetings violation. They've gotten so divorced from reality that they're now just making stuff up.

    • Pam Wirkkala She made the comment during the Reports/Announcement part of the Agenda. That is not a time in the meeting any action is taken. She could have said she was a new grandmother, and they still could try to mess with her. She's lucky Brannan didn't corner her in the hallway like he did Lizarraga back on May 22 and ask her, "You think you are Evita!". Maybe Pat's theme song should be: Don’t Cry for Me Quartzsite

    • Lori Martin A little biased isn't it' they broke how may open meeting violations and never 1 time did this to themselves i lost count on how many they broke
      3 hours ago ·

    • Thomas Fixer Nethken Wonder how many complaints would show up in an open records request to.the ag's office asking how for copies of OML complaint files on quartzsite.