Quartzsite Mayor declares meeting illegal, Town Council proceeds without the Mayor
Outpost of Freedom
July 13, 2011
An on again, off again, meeting was held in Quartzsite, Arizona, on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at 10:00 AM. The meeting, according to sources, was called during an illegal meeting, as declared by the Mayor, on Sunday, July 10. This July 10 meeting was the subject of an early posting (Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona).
Mayor Ed Foster, at the beginning of the Tuesday meeting, pointed out that the Arizona State Attorney General had not declared the Sunday meeting to be illegal, since he had received no formal complaints regarding the illegality. The Mayor then encouraged all to file such complaints (complaint link contained in Illegal Town Council…).
The Mayor then declared that this (Tuesday) meeting was, also, illegal, since it was scheduled during the illegal meeting of Sunday, and is not being held at the normal 7:00 PM meeting time, as stipulated in Town Code. He further stated that Arizona Revised Statutes requires that “all persons shall be allowed to attend public meetings”, after pointing out that there were a number of people outside, who had not been allowed entry to the meeting.
He then stated that he had directed the Town Clerk to arrange for a larger facility for subsequent meetings and that the non-meeting then being held would be rescheduled within 24 hours. Mayor Foster then left the building.
The City Attorney then explained that the Sunday meeting was, “presumptively,” legal, since “there has been no judicial finding that it was illegal”. The council, absent the Mayor, continued the meeting with Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell presiding over the meeting.
The first order of business, then, was to decide whether they should continue the current meeting, to which the Council voted, unanimously, to continue. The audience, however, appeared to, resoundingly, vote “Nay”.
The meeting was then called to order by the Vice Mayor. An invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance were held, and then a roll call indicated that all were present, except Mayor Foster.
A consent agenda (three items, unstated) was approved and then discussion began on the tentative budget for 2011-2012. It was decided that the tentative budget would be published, another special meeting be held prior to approval, and then the meeting for the approval be held, approved unanimously.
The meeting was then adjourned about 11 minutes after Mayor Foster’s first statement. Nothing controversial, at all, was discussed, with the exceptions noted above.
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Outside of the meeting, others who had come to visit Quartzsite and get an idea of what is going on in this little town of about 3800 full time residents, report that they were told that there was no copy of the “meeting rules” available. The “meeting rules” came to prominence when Jennifer “Jade” Jones was forcibly removed from the building after stating that the rules had never been adopted by the Council (see Arrest Jennifer Jade Jones June 28 Quartzsite Arizona Council Meeting Viral), though she was not arrested, only removed from the meeting).
It was also noted that the ten Quartzsite Police Officers who had signed a request for an investigation (No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert) were at the grounds outside of the meeting wearing red tee-shirts, while the on-duty officers were not signatories to the request. Quite a coincidence!
Channels 3, 5, 12 and 15 (Phoenix) were present, along with numerous reporters from other locations, including Blythe, California, just twenty miles west along Interstate 10. Channel 3, a late arrival, chose only to interview Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert, who explained that he did not really know all that happened when he ordered the removal of Jennifer Jones on June 28. It appears that they had no interested in what the Mayor of Quartzsite had to say about Tuesday’s events.