State of emergency declared in western Arizona town amid corruption allegations by mayor

I don’t care who you are or where you live, this is a fine example of what happens when a Council and Police Department get out of control.

State of emergency declared in western Arizona town

PHOENIX — The far western Arizona town of Quartzsite was in a state of upheaval Monday after the town council ousted the mayor from power and declared a state of emergency, all over an online video that shows a woman being arrested.

Mayor Ed Foster told The Associated Press on Monday that the town council held a last-minute meeting that was closed to the public Sunday night, declaring a state of emergency in the 3,600-person town just east of the California city of Blythe.

The council’s declaration put police Chief Jeff Gilbert in charge, making Foster the “deputy chief executive of nothing right now,” he said. It also allows the five-member council to meet without public notice and suspend all public comment at the meetings until they declare the state of emergency over.

“I’m going to tell you frankly, this council is out of control,” Foster said. “The chief has been out of control for some time and I’ve asked the state government to help a number of times,” to no avail.

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State of emergency declared in western Arizona town amid corruption allegations by mayor

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If you watch this video, once it’s over, there are links to the rest of the Council meeting if you’re interested.

Foster described the government and Gilbert as corrupt and abusive of their power, and said all their recent actions are frantic efforts to cover up millions of dollars of money from lining some of their pockets.

Both Gilbert’s and the town hall’s phone numbers rang busy Monday, and all five council members and the town manager did not immediately return email requests for comment.

A man who answered the town hall’s phone later Monday and did not identify himself said he would deliver a message to Town Manager Alex Taft but said council members were unavailable.

Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell told The Arizona Republic on Sunday that Foster’s characterization of the council imposing “martial law” was inaccurate, saying that a recording of the meeting will be made available to the public Monday.

Far be it for me to tell these folks in Quartzsite what to do but I’m thinking they may have some *special elections* in your near future.

But a word to the wise, so they say, is sufficient; be careful of who you replace who with. You don’t want to let yourself get fooled and taken in by someone that’s at least as destructive as the people you seek to replace. Trust me on this; call it recent 1st hand knowledge.

Foster said the council declared the emergency because they claim they’ve received threats from members of the public who saw a video posted on YouTube.

The video shows a woman identified as Jennifer Jones being arrested and hauled away from a council meeting after she said the council was violating open-meetings laws. Jones was speaking during a public comment period, and Foster is heard on the video telling other council members who ordered her removed that “the lady has the floor.”

A City Council in total disarray, accusations of corruption, an accusation of a violation of *open meeting laws*, a claim of *martial law*, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a town on the verge of imploding.

He said he’s gone to Gov. Jan Brewer’s office, the Attorney General’s Office and the FBI with his allegations and pleas for an investigation, and that he’s been ignored. He said he was contacting the FBI on Monday with information about Sunday’s meeting declaring an emergency, which he said was illegal because it was closed to the public and in violation of open-meetings laws.

I don’t know how the Arizona AG’s office or the office of Gov. Brewer work but if the people of Quartzsite are waiting for the FBI to make a decision to investigate, they had best be prepared to wait a long time. The FBI can’t make a pot of coffee without a 2 year investigation into the impact that the coffee will have.

This is funny but at the same time really sad, the ignorance exhibited is somewhere out there in unbelievable land. Maybe these folks are just too close to California.

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10 Responses to State of emergency declared in western Arizona town amid corruption allegations by mayor

  1. mrchuck says:

    I know Quartzite, AZ.

    Each winter from Dec thru Feb there are 500,000 people there on a desert flat selling there wares like a swap meet.

    They have been doing this for 45 years!!!

    Lots of retired fogies take their trailers there to get away from the winter snows.

    Tons of money is spent there for artifacts, and a huge swap meet!! There must be tons of cash brought there and exchanged for wares.

    The town itself is nothing but a desert blown wind buildings of no size.
    A great place for graft and shake downs, old west style.

    By April 1, it is deserted without any population to speak of. God bless them to keep a stable community there, that will stick it out.

  2. TexasFred says:

    I am VERY familiar with Quartzsite too, I haven’t been out there in 9 years now but used to hit it every trip to L.A. years ago… Ted’s Truck Stop, the best food between Dallas and L.A.

    The town sucks, but it was a lotta fun if you have time to stay a little while… In the WINTER.. :(

  3. BobF says:

    Interesting video.

    It looks like the mayor either has no authority or the meeting was taken over my a council member and police department.

  4. TexasFred says:

    I’m thinking the Mayor was overthrown, right there on the video…

    I know it’s a town of 3,600 people at this time of year but damn, anarchy just can’t be allowed…

  5. Robert says:

    We were in Quartzite earlier in the year. There’s a guy who’s been fighting city hall there for a very long time over his “Business” I say business because it’s just a lot with a ton of junk all over.. Semi organized but it’s nothing more than a 24 hour swap meet.

    Any government that is in this shape it needs to be dissolved. INCLUDING OUR GOVERNMENT. They are about as dysfunctional as the idiots in Quartzite.

  6. Cary says:

    Ted’s is gone, shuttered and decrepit. Ted left because the council kept upping his property taxes. The chain up the road would keep supporting whoever needed support, so their taxes didn’t increase … as much.

  7. Shady says:

    They went thataway “Kemo Sabe”!

    Are you kidding me, what a joke. Looks like someone gonna get sued.
    It reminds me of a little town in South Texas.

  8. TexasFred says:

    Cary — Ted has been dead for years, his son Bill was carrying on the name and business… I hate to hear it gone too, they were one of the last REAL Independent truck stops in America…

  9. I don’t understand how the governor’s office and the AG’s office can stand idly by. this bizarre!

  10. TexasFred says:

    Jim — Fully agreed… You would think the AG would get engaged here on orders from the Governor, this is a sad and continuing situation…

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