Friday, June 18, 2010
Quartzsite Budget Meeting
Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert said he wanted to clear up some misunderstanding about the new police car, "It was not purchased for $50,000....A grant purchased the vehicle and equipment for (approx.) $39,000." Gilbert explained revenues for impounded vehicles declined over the past year, as changes were made by former Mayor Steve Bennett. He suggested the council revisit that policy. There is a new law that may require a 30 impound on some infractions, so revenues may increase. Questions were raised about overtime exceeding the budget by $7,000, however Council Member Jose Lizarraga said he is used to seeing much higher figures in his job of being a fire fighter.
Gilbert announced Officer Jim Shultz is back in town and expects to return to duty Mid July. Major James Schultz was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army on Nov. 9. Schultz was serving a tour in the United States Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Space Operations Officer for the 3rd Army at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. LTC James "Jim" Schultz has been a police officer for the Quartzsite Police Department for the past 14 years.
Magistrate Terry Frausto reported only about 40% of the funds from citations are kept locally, with each infraction having a base line. She reported criminal charges and expenses have increased by 50% over last year. She went on to say that officers spend more time processing criminal offenses than simple traffic citations. More time spent by officers, clerks, pretrial paperwork, etc.
Editor's note: I was personally glad to see the Quartzsite Town Council work as a team, and speaking with respect. However, Mayor Foster did not follow the agenda: there was no Roll Call nor Reports & Announcements. The Communications/Petitions & Citizens Comments were not officially called for either. Town Attorney, Pam Walsma is on vacation and attorney Stephen Shadle was present, but was not introduced to the public.
I urge all attendees to turn off their cell phones during all public meetings, as Mayor Foster's phone rang at least twice, disrupting the speakers. As one blogger states, Cell phones users need their own rules of etiquette, or we'll descend into social barbarism. For more information visit: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cell-phone-etiquette.htm