DM header

DM header
Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quartzsite Town Council member Pat Workman is subject of ad hoc ethics committee


Quartzsite Town Council member Pat Workman is the subject of a special meeting of the Ad hoc ethics committee which will meet Monday, October 1st at 11:30am. The meeting is open to the public.

1.       Preamble
The residents and businesses of Quartzsite are entitled to have a fair, ethical, and accountable local government. Such a government requires that public officials:
A.                Comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies affecting operations of the government;
B.                Be independent, impartial, and fair in their judgment and actions;
C.                Use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain; and
D.                Conduct public deliberations and processes openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.
2.       Code of Ethics
To this end, the Quartzsite Town Council has adopted a Code of Ethics to encourage public confidence in the integrity of local government and effective operation. This Town Council Code of Ethics and Quartzsite Town Council Procedure Manual shall not be interpreted to conflict with other rights and responsibilities of public officials set forth in this code or Federal, State, or local law. The Town Council Code of Ethics shall be considered to be the definitive document relating to ethical conduct by Quartzsite Council Members.
3.       Public Interest
A.              Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary
concern, Council Members shall work for the common good of the people of Quartzsite, and not for any private or personal interest. Council Members must endeavor to treat all members of the public and issues before them in a fair and equitable manner.
B.              Council Members shall comply with the Laws of the Nation, the State of Arizona,
and the Town of Quartzsite in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and Arizona constitutions; the Quartzsite Town Ordinances; laws pertaining to conflicts of interest, election campaigns, financial disclosures, employer responsibilities, and open meetings.
4. Conduct
A.       Council Members shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges, or verbal
attacks upon the character or motives of other members of the Town Council, boards, commissions, committees, staff or the public.

B.            Council Member duties shall be performed in accordance with the processes and
rules of order established by the Town Council.
C.            Council Members shall inform themselves on public issues, listen attentively to
public discussions before the body and focus on the business at hand.
D.            Council decisions shall be based upon the merits and substance of the matter at
E.            It is the responsibility of Council Members to publicly share sensitive information
that is relevant to a matter under consideration that they have received from sources outside of the public decision-making process with all other Council Members and the public prior to taking action on the matter.
F.            Appropriate Town staff should be involved when Council Members meet with
officials from other agencies and jurisdictions to ensure proper staff support as needed and to keep staff informed.
G.           Council Members shall not attend internal staff meetings or meetings between
Town staff and third parties unless invited by Town staff or directed by Council to do so.
H.            Council Members shall respect and adhere to the council-manager structure of
Town of Quartzsite Town Government as provided in State law, and the Town Ordinances, Council Members shall support the maintenance of a positive and constructive environment for residents, businesses, and Town employees.
I.              The Code of Ethics shall be included in the regular orientations for Town Council
candidates. Council members entering office shall sign a statement affirming they have read and understand the Town of Quartzsite Town Council Code of Ethics.
5.      Conflict of Interest
A.            In order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public
good, Council Members are prohibited from using their official positions to influence government decisions in which they have a financial interest or where they have an organizational responsibility or a personal relationship that would present a conflict of interest under applicable state law.
B.            In accordance with state law, Council Members must file annual written
disclosures of their economic interests.
C.            Council Members shall not take advantage of services or opportunities for
personal gain by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general.
D.         Council Members shall respect and preserve the confidentiality of information provided  to them concerning the confidential matters of the Town. They must neither disclose confidential information without proper legal authorization, nor use such information to advance the personal, financial, or private interests of themselves, or others.
E.              Town Council Members should avoid any action that could be construed as, or create the appearance of, using public office for personal gain, including use of Town stationary or other Town resources to obtain or promote personal interest or business interests.
F.              Public resources that are not available to the general public (e.g., Town staff time, equipment, supplies, or facilities) shall not be used to obtain or promote personal interests business interests.
G.             In keeping with their role as stewards of the public interest, Council Members shall not appear on behalf of the private interests of a third party before the Town Council or any board, commission, or committee, or proceeding of the Town, except as permitted by law.
H.              To the best of their ability, Council Members shall represent the official policies and positions of the Town Council. When presenting their personal opinions or positions publicly, members shall explicitly state that they do not represent the Council, or the Town.
6.       Compliance and Enforcement—All Rules
Council Members take an oath or affirmation when they assume their office in which they promise to uphold the laws of the State of Arizona, the Town of Quartzsite and the United States of America. Consistent with this oath or affirmation, is the requirement of this Council policy to comply with the laws as well as report violations of the laws and policy of which they become aware.
A.              Any suspected violation of alleged violation by a Council Member must be
reported to the Mayor. Any suspected violation or alleged violation by the Mayor must be reported to the Vice Mayor. In the case of a Town staff member making the report regarding a Council Member or Mayor, the report should be made to the Town Manager, who will then report it to the Mayor (or, when appropriate, the Vice Mayor). Upon report, the Town Manager and Town Attorney will assist the Mayor in following one of the two protocols for addressing the violation or alleged violation:
B.              If the Mayor, Town Manager, and Town Attorney all agree that the violation or alleged violation is minor in nature, the Mayor and either the Town Manager or Town Attorney may contact the individual Council Member and advise the Council Member of the concern and seek to resolve the matter (Protocol 1).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Town Council reinstates Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert

In an unusual meeting today, Quartzsite Town Council voted 5 to 1 to reinstate Police Chief Jeff Gilbert.

The meeting began at 9:00am with a proclamation recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month by Senior Council Member Patricia Anderson; WACOG Management Committee Report by Council Member Norma Crooks; Regional Council of Aging Report from former council member Joe Winslow; and an APS Report on power outages in Quartzsite by APS Manager Phil Smithers with APS Rep John Croteau.

The council adjourned into executive session to consider possible assignments and terms of employment contract with Jeff Gilbert as Police Chief, terms of employment contract with Alexandra Taft as Town Manager, and consultations with special counsel regarding the Town's position regarding litigation in the matter of Ed Foster vs. the Town. Foster received the most votes in the May 15th mayoral election, but has not been seated. Council declared Foster unqualified in June, as he owes the town money. Foster goes to court on Oct. 4th, asking La Paz Superior Court to seat him as mayor.

The executive session was scheduled to last until 12:30pm. Council returned at 1:30pm to finish the rest of the agenda items. First on the agenda was Interim Town Manager Laura Bruno's report. She announced, "the Risk Pool, our insurance carrier, will be keeping us on.... We are going to be, just like our kids, under severe restrictions," and they will be invited to make a presentation to council in the near future.

Bruno also announced the League of Cities and Towns will be attending a Council Workshop scheduled for October 3rd, regarding open meeting laws and agenda modifications.

Bruno announced the voter fraud investigation summary report is online and the full report is available in the library. Bruno reported on the history of the investigation, beginning with the council meeting of March 27, 2012 when council passed resolution 12-07 directing Town Manager Alex Taft to request a formal investigation on voter irregularities specifically from Dept. of Justice, Arizona Secretary of State and the AZ Attorney General's Office; to ask La Paz County Elections Dept. to sequester the March 13th ballots until the end of the investigation or the decline of an investigation.

Town Attorney Martin Brannan told council on March 27th the resolution "does not authorize any expenditures of the town for a private investigation." However, On July 10, 2012 Taft told the council the investigation "was authorized by council." Later in July Brannan explained to council, when Council Member Pat Workman questioned whether or not the investigation had been declined, "council has promised that the Town Attorney will have the resources necessary to do the job the council has hired the Town Attorney to do." The investigation, using two private investigators and an attorney, has cost the town $70,653, with two invoices outstanding. Bruno said in her opinion, "the council did not authorize a private investigator to be hired. That is all I can say about that at this time."

Bruno gave a synopsis of the claims and findings of many reports and investigations on Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert over the past few years.

- July 3, 2010 Arizona Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) investigated a complaint initiated by then Mayor Ed Foster regarding allegations of theft and misuse of grant funds. FINDINGS: Investigation did not discover any criminal violations committed.

- July 7, 2011 Jackson Lewis firm. An anonymous letter reporting to represent police department employees make several allegations of misuse of sick and vacation time against the Chief of Police. FINDINGS: No credible evidence of inconsistency in sick leave issues, improper denial of reasonable accommodations, nor evidence of community members being targeted. "Some witnesses lied and many claims were stale."

- Dec. 7, 2011 DPS report turned over to AZ Attorney General Office which issued their answer on July 11, 2012. Request by Ed Foster on June 11th, to look into allegations of tampering with a public document, influencing a witness, tampering with a witness, and unauthorized access to criminal history. FINDINGS: Turned down by AZ Attorney General's office for the following reasons: no reasonable likelihood of conviction, witness credibility problems, inadequate evidence of corroboration, inadequate evidence of intent. Detective agreed there was insufficient evidence to prove crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

- Sept. 13, 2012 DPS request by Taft and Asst. Town Manager Al Johnson to investigate allegations of false time sheet involving one hour vacation time of an officer's time sheet. FINDINGS: Background materials provided to DPS were inadequate; DPS finds no basis for further investigation.

- Sept. 18, 2012 Grievance filed by a police officer to Taft and Johnson. FINDINGS: Independent and separate reviews were conducted by the Interim Town Manager, Acting Police Chief, and Parker Police Chief. The allegations were found to be untruthful.

- Sept. 11, 2012 Notice of Termination by Johnson. In working with the attorney, there was found to be no merit to allegations. FINDINGS: The allegation of not reporting while under house arrest are minor and does not justify termination. Allegations about participating in communications training, is a potential offense and if it occurred, needs to be handled through the normal employee evaluation process, and is not a terminable offense. Allegation of tampering with a witness actually occurred a year earlier than Johnson referred to, and was addressed in the DPS report of Dec. 7th, 2011 and by the AG's turn down of July 2012. Allegations of communication with the press is not a terminable offense. Allegations of willful misconduct and criminal misuse of ACJIS system was addressed by DPS report of Dec. 7th, 2011 and the AG's turn down of July 11th, 2012.

Four citizens spoke in disagreement to the reinstatement of Gilbert. Two citizens spoke in agreement to reinstate Gilbert. In a roll call vote, council voted to reinstate Gilbert 5-1 with Workman voting nay.

Council Member Mark Orgeron explained the details of Gilbert's reinstatement effective today. Gilbert is to avoid politics of the town, to direct efforts of the efficient operations of the police department, to work to promote a pleasant and supportive environment for both officers and the community. Gilbert's contract will be reviewed in February 2013.

In other business, Quartzsite Town Council appointed Patricia Anderson as Chair, and Mike Jewitt as Vice Chair. Workman voted nay, questioning if the action was legal, stating state law says the mayor should be the Chief Executive Officer, and Foster's court date is not until October 4th. Bruno stated this is a town policy which states the council "shall, not may". Jennifer Jones spoke to the council stating the council adjourned the item until after Foster's hearing date. Jones said, "I can absolutely guarantee you, that if you usurp the state regulations and statute on the mayor being the CEO, then you are going to be sued! Not only are you going to be sued, but you're going to be sued personally, because you've now waived executive protection. So, have at it; have fun! It's on you!"

Council also approved an Intergovernmental agreement for Library support services between Arizona Western College and the Quartzsite Public Library. Council approved for the Quartzsite Library to participate with the Southwest Valley Library Consortium and approved the Liquor License for the Quartzsite Women's Club Wine/Beer and Cheese Tasting Event on Nov. 10th, 2012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

UPDATE: Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert NOT fired, as earlier reported

By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear

Quartzsite, Arizona

Tuesday, September 11th, the Town of Quartzsite Common Council held their regular meeting at 9am. Just as Council Member Patricia Anderson pounded the gavel, Asst. Town Manager contacted Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert notifying Gilbert he was fired. A press release, which was not authorized by Acting Town Manager Terry Frausto, was issued at 8:50am, before Gilbert had been notified.

Council members obviously had no knowledge of the action taken by Johnson until after the meeting was adjourned. Sparks began to fly after the meeting, when council members and Frausto were notified that their Chief of Police had been fired without their knowledge.

The press release posted on the town’s website (and also on this blog) included the three-page letter of termination signed by Johnson. Gilbert, who was on vacation with his wife, only discovered the letter was posted online when a member of the press later called him for an interview.

During Wednesday’s Special Meeting, Quartzsite Town Council appointed Laura Bruno as Interim Town Manager. Frausto returned to her position as Town Clerk, and Brannan walked out of the meeting shortly after Bruno’s appointment, saying “I’m fired!”

In Friday’s Press Conference, Bruno announced Gilbert was NOT fired, however Johnson had been placed on paid administrative leave. She said the termination letter was “inappropriate and unauthorized.” Johnson joins Town Manager Alex Taft and Gilbert, who are all on paid administrative leave. Bruno said, at that time, Brannan was "in employed status".

The scathing termination letter accused Gilbert of Gross Negligence/Willful Misconduct and Insubordination. The letter also referred to the DPS investigation dated July 13 in which Attorney General’s Office refused to prosecute Gilbert, and only recently issued the Turn Down Statement and full 201-page DPS Report to the Desert Messenger.

Alleged charges were: 
1) Unauthorized Access to Criminal History, ARS § 41-1756.
2) Influencing a Witness, ARS § 13-2802.
3) Tampering with a Public Document, ARS $ 13-2407(A)(2)

“Detective Peter White understands and agrees that there is insufficient evidence to prove the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

Reasons for the AG’s turndown were: 
1) No Reasonable Likelihood of Conviction.
2) Witness Credibility Problems.
3) Inadequate Evidence of Corroboration and
4) Inadequate Evidence of Intent.

As of press time, Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert is still employed by the Town of Quartzsite and on Paid Administrative Leave. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Quartzsite Calendar of Events at

Check out the New Quartzsite, Arizona 
Calendar of Events and Show Dates 
for 2012- 2013!

Hosted by Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ), the new calendar is hosted online at 

If you would like your event or venue be added,
please send an email to

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quartzsite Elementary School remembers 9/11 and honors Students of the Month

Quartzsite Elementary School held their 9/11 assembly this morning. Local Boy Scout Troop 116 performed the Flag Raising Ceremony while students respectfully watched. Superintendent Jacque Price explained the significance of the day to the students sharing about the horrible events of September 11, 2001.  "The nation was changed that day," she said. Many parents attended today's ceremony.

After the ceremony September Students of the Month were honored. 

Front Row (L to R)
Alycia Gleason, Kindergarten
Chloe Castillo, 1st Grade

Back Row (L to R)
Anthony Jackson, 4th Grade
Gabriella Braun, 7th & 8th Grade
Jasmine Tinoco, 5th & 6th Grade
Not present were 
Charles Oswald, 2nd Grade and 
Kathryn Oswald, 3rd Grade.

Congratulations to all the hard working students of 
Quartzsite Elementary School!

Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert fired while on vacation without knowledge of Acting Town Manager

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
In an unprecedented move, Quartzsite Asst. Town Manager contacted Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert this morning notifying Gilbert that he was fired. A press release was issued, without prior knowledge of Acting Town Manager Terry Frausto, just 10 minutes before this morning's Town Council Meeting.

Council members obviously had no knowledge of the action until after the meeting was adjourned. Sparks began to fly after most of the public left Town Hall, when I asked Council Member Mark Orgeron if he knew about the firing. Orgeron looked shocked and said, "No, I did not."

Renee Nelson, Deputy Town Clerk announced that it had been posted on the town website prior to the meeting, which evidently was a surprise to Acting Town Manager Terry Frausto, who said, "I was not aware of it."  Council Members Mark Orgeron, Carol Kelley, Norma Crooks along with other citizens argued with Town Attorney, Martin Brannan, demanding to know why they had not been notified.

Brannan said Frausto was conflicted out of the situation, because of her marriage to QPD Sgt. Xavier Frausto. Brannan explained it was no different than when Johnson fired the police officers last year, which met with an energized exchange between council members and Brannan, bringing more dissent among those present. Town Planning and Zoning Director, Nora Yackley said she did not know about Johnson's actions either.

No private video cameras were rolling during at the time. According to unpublished rules that require there is no filming at Town Hall except during public meetings. However, since it was shortly after the meeting, town video of the incident should have captured the incident.

Orgeron, Kelley, and Frausto continued their discussion with Brannan as they moved behind the closed doors.

Gilbert is on a planned vacation trip, after being placed on paid administrative leave on August 23, 2012. Gilbert is reported to be traveling with his wife out of state.

Council took no actions on any items of the agenda today after being in executive session with Brannan for over 45 minutes. Council Member Patricia Anderson adjourned the meeting after announcing a special meeting is planned for 2pm tomorrow afternoon. Brannan also is the plaintiff's attorney for the Town in a Temporary Restraining Order against the Town Council.

UPDATE: According to Gilbert, Johnson talked to him on his cell phone at exactly 9:00am today Arizona time. There had been a previous call, but cell service was not available. 

Quartzsite Deputy Town Clerk posted on the Internet the letter of termination even before the Chief of Police was contacted, let alone had received a copy of the letter. 

UPDATE SEPT. 14, 2012
During a press conference called by Interim Town Manager Laura Bruno Friday morning, it was announced that Gilbert was NOT FIRED, as reported earlier. Bruno said the termination was improper and unauthorized. She went on to say Al Johnson who took the action to fire Gilbert is now on paid admin leave. Bruno told the crowd gathered at Town Hall that Gilbert was still on paid administrative leave. 

Questions were raised about the status of Town Attorney Martin Brannan. All Bruno would say is "he is currently employed as Town Attorney."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Town issues press release of Dept. of Justice decision re: Ed Foster

DOJ decision TofQtz

Town of Quartzsite issued a press release stating they received notification from the United States Department of Justice that the Attorney General of the United States does not interpose any objection to the changes in qualifications for persons wishing to serve on the Quartzsite Common Council as codified in Quartzsite Ordinance Number 09-15. 

Ordinance 09-15 created Quartzsite Town Code Section 2-1-10(B) which prohibits anyone owing delinquent or fixed fines and penalties, user frees, permit fees, and sales taxes to the town from serving on the Common Council. 

This section was used by the Common Council of the Town of Quartzsite to judge Edward L. Foster, who garnered the most votes in the most recent mayoral election, disqualified from holding the position. Foster owes the towns attorney fees imposed by the Superior Court as a penalty when Foster filed an unsuccessful suit against the Town in 2011 attempting to get the Courts to stop his recall from office.

4th Annual Rockin' in Quartzsite 2012-13

Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite, Inc. announced the dates for the
4th Annual Rockin' in Quartzsite - 
A Celebration of the Arts!

Rockin' Reveal Artist Reception will be held Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the "Rock Motel" (a beautifully transformed warehouse) at Tyson Wells Showground, 100 W. Kuehn, Quartzsite.

Here is your chance to meet the artists who will have spent the previous two weeks painting and transforming a blank slab of rock into the most amazing Rock Art Piece! No peeking until Saturday, Nov. 3rd! 

The Theme for this year's event is "Our Beautiful Arizona".

"Foster Parents" sponsor the Rock Art during the winter season, November thru February. Residents and tourists enjoy following the "Rock Map" published in Desert Messenger each issue, voting for the People's Choice Award at each location.

If you fall in love with a Rock Art Piece, be sure to attend the 
"Rock Auction" held Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
This live auction is always a fun event!!
(Location and time to be determined)

PNQ is always looking for volunteers to help during the weeks of Oct. 20th -Nov. 2nd while the artists are painting. Through our Volunteer Equity Program, volunteer time equals points, which equals dollars donated to the organization of your choice. In the past few years, Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite has donated to over a dozen local charities.

If your business would like to be a "Foster Parent" and enjoy the beauty of the Rock Art at your location this winter, pick your level of donation and fill out the Sponsor App below.

PNQ Sponsor App

Quartzsite Elementary School Board Vacancy

QES Board Vacancy

La Paz County School Superintendent, Janice Shelton, hereby makes a public notice of the opportunity for the residents of the Quartzsite Elementary School District to serve as a Governing Board member for your school district. It has been determined that an appointment to fill the vacant seat will best meet the needs of the community and the Quartzsite Elementary School District. The term for the appointment will be from the date of the appointment through December 31, 2014. The position will appear on the November, 2014 General Election Ballot as a regular four year term.
To be eligible to serve on a school district governing board, a candidate must:
·                             Be a registered voter of the state of Arizona, and
·                             Be a resident of the school district for one year prior to the appointment, and
·                             Not be an employee or the spouse of an employee of the district.
For more information or to request an application for the district governing board, please call Shelly Rohde at the Office of the La Paz County School Superintendent at 928-669-6183. Applications are also available at the Quartzsite Elementary School District Office and on the ESA website, www.lapazschools.orq
Completed application should be mailed, faxed or delivered to: Janice Shelton
La Paz County School Superintendent's Office 1112 Joshua Ave., Suite 205
Parker, AZ 85344
FAX: 928-669-4406
Application Deadline is 5 P.M., Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quartzsite Town council meeting scheduled for Tues. Sept. 11

Quartzsite Town Council will hold their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 11, 2013. Town Attorney, Martin Brannan has not approved an item on the agenda. Item 8 is to approve hiring of an Interim Town Manager and replacing Terry Frausto. Frausto moved became Acting Town Manager after Alex Taft was placed on paid administrative leave on August 28, 2012.

Brannan advised the council that Item 8 as presented was illegal and they have no authority to act. He added a statement to the agenda explaining his opinion.

See Below:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fire restrictions lifted for BLM lands near Quartzsite

Fire Restrictions Lifted for BLM Colorado River District

Lake Havasu, Ariz. - Effective immediately, fire restrictions will be lifted for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands administered by the Lake Havasu and Yuma Field Offices.  This includes public lands in the Yuma, La Paz, and Mohave counties in Arizona and Imperial, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties in California.

Due to weather conditions and sufficient firefighting resources, fire restrictions are no longer necessary. 

“The BLM greatly appreciates the public’s cooperation in helping to minimize the number of human-caused wildfires this summer on BLM lands,” said Roxie Trost, BLM Colorado River District Manager.  “Even though restrictions are no longer needed, we’re asking the public to be very careful when using fire.  Under the right conditions our public lands still have potential for wildfires to spread rapidly and become dangerous.”

Please be extremely careful and exercise the following precautions when using fire.  Make sure you have a ten-foot circle cleared around your campfire, be sure to have a shovel and plenty of water on hand, and put the fire DEAD OUT before leaving.  Smokers need to make sure their cigarettes or cigars are put out when they are through smoking and dispose of them properly.  Remember not to park motor vehicles where the exhaust system could cause grass or other vegetation to ignite.

To report a wildfire, please call Arizona Interagency Dispatch Center at 800-309-7081.

Construction delays on Hwy. 95 next week, south of Quartzsite

Arizona Department of Transportation

ADOT on Facebook  ADOT on Twitter  ADOT on YouTube  
Drainage repairs scheduled on State Route 95 north of Yuma next week
Drivers travelling between Yuma and Quartzsite are advised to plan ahead and allow extra travel time

The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to repair several drainage pipes on State Route 95 north of Yuma from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily beginning Monday, Sept.10, through Friday, Sept. 14. Traffic will be stopped intermittently and drivers should allow extra travel time between Yuma and Quartzsite as minor delays are expected.

What to expect next week during work hours:
  • Traffic will come to a complete stop on State Route 95 between mile posts 57 and 60.
  • ADOT crews will escort alternating traffic through the work zone.
  • Delays of up to 15 minutes are expected.
  • Message boards will guide drivers through the area. 
ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.

For more information about this project, please visit or contact Yuma District Senior Community Relations Officer Gabriella Kemp at 928.317.2165, or ADOT Community Relations Officer, Paki Rico, at 520.388.4233,

Local media should contact the ADOT Public Information Office at or 1.800.949.8057. or for more information about ADOT. For more information about ADOT projects and programs across Arizona see the agency's latest blog posts at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Governor Brewer appoints Vederman to La Paz County Superior Court

Governor Jan Brewer Announces Appointment to 
La Paz County  Superior Court

PHOENIX – Sept. 6, 2012 - Governor Jan Brewer today announced the appointment of attorney Samuel Vederman to the La Paz County Superior Court.

“Samuel has proven himself as an exceptional candidate to serve the Court and the community, both through his Arizona courtroom experience and his public service as an elected official,” said Governor Brewer.

“In addition to possessing a strong legal background, he exhibits the managerial skills, integrity and
evenhandedness necessary for a role in which accountability to the public is ever-important.”

Mr. Vederman currently is the County Attorney for La Paz County, a position to which he was elected in 2008. In this prosecutorial capacity, he carries a full felony caseload while managing the administrative aspects of a busy law office, including oversight of a 22-member staff. His experience includes: jury and bench trials in both prosecution and defense roles; grand jury presentations; legal research; and legal counsel to county departments. Mr. Vederman played a key role in the creation of the innovative and cost-effective Substance Abuse/Drug Court program in La Paz County, where he led a collaborative effort with the Adult Probation Department and the Clerk of the Superior Court.

Mr. Vederman has been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 2000. Prior to being elected County Attorney, he worked in private practice in Parker, Arizona (2007-2008); served in various roles for the La Paz County Attorney’s Office (2003-2007); was Assistant City Prosecutor for the City of Mesa (2002-2003); and served as Deputy Public Defender for the La Paz County Public Defender’s Office (2000-2002). Mr. Vederman was a law clerk for U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham.

Mr. Vederman has been an active member of his community. He is Chairman of the La Paz County
Anti-Drug and Racketeering Enforcement Task Force, and a member of the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council. He also is President of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Parker, a member of the Parker Area Chamber of Commerce and McMullen Valley Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado River Regional Crisis Shelter.

Mr. Vederman earned his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. He received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island.

Governor Brewer’s appointment of Samuel Vederman to the La Paz County Superior Court is made to  fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael Burke, effective December 14, 2012.

Sunrise over Quartzsite- photos by the late Ken Hardies

Here are three photos of the late Ken Hardies, of Quartzsite. 

His son, Steve Hardies, of Hardies Beads and Jewelry, 
sent these amazing sunrise and sunset photos taken by his father. 

Just another reason hundreds of thousands snowbirds flock to Quartzsite during the winter!

When visiting Quartzsite this year, be sure to check out the selection of  new large print books 
recently donated by the Hardies family in memory of Ken. 

Mr. Hardies was an avid reader and huge supporter of the Quartzsite Library.
In a world where libraries are closing or shortening their hours,
Quartzsite Library continues to serve thousands each year.

The Children's Library is a must see for our youth, also!

To view an ever-changing collection of Quartzsite photos, visit

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

La Paz County Supervisors solicit proposals for county landfill


Supervisors Seek to Leverage Landfill’s Capacity and 
Rail Access for Host Fees

PARKER, Arizona — September 5, 2012 — La Paz County Supervisors announced that they plan to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) this week seeking qualified companies interested in operating and utilizing the capacity at the County’s landfill in return for providing host fees, jobs and economic development opportunities. La Paz County Supervisor Holly Irwin said they are seeking proposals from “Financially capable waste operators that will recognize the unique economic advantages of the site and align interests in a public-private partnership to maximize revenues to both parties from its operations.”

County Supervisors retained waste management experts eight months ago to analyze the current operating contract with Allied and to prepare for a RFP process to test the market for operators interested in the landfill’s disposal capacity currently estimated at over twenty four million cubic yards.  The RFP specifically asks qualified operators to provide their experience related to transporting waste by rail to take advantage of the landfill’s close proximity to RailAmerica’s short line that provides access to The BNSF Railway, who operates more than 1,000 trains a day in North America with 32,000 route miles in the western two-thirds of the United States.

By industry standards, the County landfill is considered a major asset due to its long-term ability to provide disposal capacity and its topographic characteristics of operating in an isolated, dry desert environment.   Once a new operator is selected by late fall of 2012, the County will be soliciting additional proposals from complementary industries that may be able to co-locate at the landfill to increase host fees from other operations.  “The Landfill represents an economic engine that could potentially bring more host fees, more jobs and spin off industrial opportunities,” Supervisor Irwin continued. 

Irwin further stated that, “Our County has a very small property tax base with only 5% of privately owned land.  The Board of Supervisors needs to relieve our taxpayers of their burden by developing outside revenue streams.  In addition, landfill revenues will aid in the early payoff of bond monies borrowed to pay a multi-million dollar court judgment awarded Yakima Composting against the County.” 

The judgment arose out of a 2003 contract claim made by Yakima, a bio-solids processor, for breach of contract against La Paz County.  In September, 2007 a jury awarded over $10 Million in damages including attorneys’ fees, costs, and statutory 10% interest.  The County appealed.  In June 2010 the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment.  On November 30, 2010 the Arizona Supreme Court denied review of the case and the Judgment became final.  The County could not pay the judgment.  The County alternatives to pay were limited to being ordered by the Court to pass a property tax on the 5% of private land or to seek assistance from the Arizona State Legislature in being able to bond for the Judgment and pay with a sales tax where all parties in La Paz County pay.   The Legislature passed the statute and it was signed by the Governor in April, 2011 to be effective on July 20, 2011.  In September, 2011, Yakima was fully paid.

The County and its consultants regularly meet with RailAmerica and BNSF to collaborate on infrastructure improvements that could exponentially increase the use of transporting waste by rail to the landfill with plans to target other industries who may be interested in using rail for other operations.

The current contract between Allied Waste and La Paz County is scheduled to expire in November of 2013 and the selected operator will be required to negotiate a new contract this fall with the intent to assume responsibilities for the landfill, recycling programs and transfer stations in December of 2013.  The long lead time is necessary to provide for a smooth transition if a new operator is selected to allow for time to design, permit and construct new disposal capacity.

County Supervisors have retained Mintz Levin, Strategic Management and Michael Brown Consulting Engineers to assist them with the proposal and contracting process, which will require proposers to provide detailed information including waste marketing plans, waste commitments to the site, landfill development, operations and closure methods, and history of working with governmental entities.  The operator will be expected to provide transfer and disposal for a small volume of residential trash delivered to transfer facilities throughout the County, as well as to provide recycling services and capacity for local industries and private haulers.


Search This Blog