Former Police Chief Jeffrey Gilbert has been fired — not just relieved of duty or placed on administrative leave [or even sent on vacation as was reported this week] but fired. Details here and here. Here [type in Demand Justice in Quartzsite] , here and here, as well as here. A brief history will reveal why are so many people interested in this story…
15JULY2010 — Recall efforts swiftly gathered momentum after citizens demanded the council allow Foster the same rights as prior Mayors, only to watch four of the councilmen [Winslow, Anderson, Cowell and Lukkasson] immediately vote to withdraw Foster’s powers. Kelley voted against the measure while Lizarraga abstained.
Critics [such as Councilman Winslow] quickly accused a small group of citizen activists a variety of activities including ‘sedition’ [SEE COMPLETE VIDEO HERE] — but the number of voting citizens who have signed the recall petitions seems to bear witness to the fact that more than ‘a few’ of Quartzsite’s voters are aware and supportive of the effort to press through with recall efforts in an effort to secure a council that is responsive to the citizenry.
Quartzsite has had many problems with its council and over the past eight years many issues have arisen which created ongoing problems. Among the litany of complaints are issues critics say are indicative of malfeasance, and their list of complaints is extensive. It contains these:
1. The hiring of unqualified personnel without meeting advertising requirements;
2. The hiring of friends and relatives to positions of authority and disregarding laws designed to prevent;
3. Failure to provide information to citizens even when FOIA requests are involved;
4. Misrepresentation of facts and figures;
5. Failure to properly maintain the privacy of individuals the town accused of [even unproven] tax debts;
6. Releasing private information to others pertinent to personal tax information;
7. Improper handling of town council meetings leaving the town open to legal suit;
8. Harassment of those whose views differ from those of elected officials;
9. Improper administration resulting in the financial devastation of the town;
10. Placing undue burdens on residents to compensate for the improper financial administration of the town;
11. Lack of proper protocol in place for the oversight of emergency situations;
12. Withholding of information pertinent to the town’s water supply;
13. Attempts to prevent ‘certain individuals’ from com-peting for positions of office.
NOTE: This is not a complete list of the accusations against Quartzsite’s officials.
According to Mayor Ed Foster, many remain hopeful that the battles inside the Town of Quartzsite will ultimately be resolved, even if recall petitions are necessary.
Foster has consistently maintained that he is not responsible for the recall efforts currently underway, and those who have pressed for recall have stood to identify themselves without reservation.