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Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quartzsite Town Manager, Alex Taft posted Press Release challenging tomorrow's council meeting

Quartzsite, Arizona - A press release was found posted on the Town's website tonight. This "Press Release" was not sent to local media Desert Messenger. (The original headline stated the press release was from Martin Brannan)

UPDATE: According to Alex Taft, "Apparently there is confusion; I have press releases reviewed, but I write them." Notice the file name is:

Martin Brannan told Desert Messenger, he didn't know why his name is in the file name. "I assume the clerk made a mistake. Only the Town Manager has the authority." 
Desert Messenger apologizes for an inconvenience this may have caused.

According to the press release, Quartzsite Town Attorney is advising council members not to appear at tomorrow's Special Meeting called by council members Mark Orgeron, Carol Kelley, and Norma Crooks. Brannan states notices had not been posted in all of the physical locations required by Town Code and no notice of the meeting had been posted on the Town's website (which the council does has the authority to do). The press release stated, "not all members of the Common Council had received personal notice of the meeting as required by law."

However, according to one council member, all council members had been notified by 4pm today, either in person or by phone.

Three council members called for a Special Meeting to be held Saturday, August 25th at 4pm at Town Hall. The signed letter was hand delivered to Town Hall between 1:30-2:00 pm today, according to sources. The letter is posted at

According to Town Code Section 2-4-2 Special Meetings, "Common Council may, upon written request of three of its number, convene a meeting thereof at any time after giving twenty-four (24) hours notice of such meeting to the Mayor and other Members of the Common Council and the general public. The agenda of any such meeting shall be subject to the approval of a majority of the Members of the Common Council and any special meeting called upon the written request of three Common Council Members shall not proceed in the absence of a quorum and approval of one or more agenda items by a majority of the common Council."

The press release states the "Town Attorney has further advised Town Staff that anyone who knowingly aids, agrees to aid or attempts to aid another person in violating the open meeting law is subject to being fined and, where the violation is intentional, be subject to also having to pay the fees of the party bringing judicial action for the violation."

The press release also stated "in order to avoid civil liability for aiding, agreeing to aid or attempting to aid another person in violating the open meeting laws, Town Staff will not be attending the meeting."

"The Attorney General's Office has been advised of the potential open meeting law violation and the fact that the Town Attorney specifically advised the three members calling the meeting that the meeting could not lawfully be held."

Taft stated the Town will report the meeting as being in violation of open meeting laws in the event that it is held in "contravention to the Town Attorney's advise."


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