Desert Messenger

February 6, 2013

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February 6, 2013 Quirky Quartzsite's Perspectives OPINION to remove the P&Z Board. There's a Special Council Meeting scheduled for Contributed by Violet Kiss Feb. 4th at 2 PM. Once any new Ordinance is approved, it For 3 years I've been trying to do takes 30 days to enact. Why so upset? No matter how hard right for Quartzsite on the "volunteer" Planning & Zoning Commission by P&Z Commissioners try, how can any appropriately following Arizona Law, Commissioner follow Town Codes or Town and Building Codes. Prior P&Z do anything correctly with this Town management was doing special favors Manager in office? Bruno sent P&Z for their friends and wouldn't allow Commissioners a letter stating ComCommissioners to investigate agenda missioners, Town employees or the items for the Council as we were ap- general public weren't allowed to do pointed to do. I personally asked 3 investigative or background checks on years in a row to go to an annual train- individuals coming before the Coming in November and was denied. My mission, or at any time. I believe the self-education has begun, but I know P&Z Commission's duty is to investigate what comes before them since the there's still a lot to learn. The current P&Z Director, Beth Council doesn't have the time to thorPraast, has been mostly helpful and oughly investigate things. I guess livprovided needed supporting docu- ing in Quartzsite requires a complete ments and answered Public Records suspension of our First Amendment Requests. Interim Town Manager, Ms. Rights! Bruno's letter said it was copLaura Bruno, has confrontationally told ied to the P&Z Staff and Council, but us we will do things her way, without P&Z Director and Council members I Council Meeting approval or chang- asked said they didn't receive it. First, Bruno tried to get rid of the ing ordinances to allow that. Bruno forced the Commission to do an illegal three females on the P&Z Commis"secret" vote during the 12/18/12 P&Z sion. That didn't work so now Bruno meeting, to recommend either renewal and Orgeron are determined to get rid or replacement of the three women on of all P&Z Commissioners to cover up the Board and not allow the three to go Bruno's and now Orgeron's many erbefore Council for renewal approval rors. Many feel this so-called illegal or disapproval as they always have be- "cleansing of the Commission" is not fore and like all other boards do. After only unprecedented and improper but Bruno tried to discriminately remove is also done in retaliation to a Condiall three women on P&Z, my husband, tional Use Permit denied for a relaxDr. Ron Jones, researched Council ar- ation/massage center in a residential chives and found two of those terms neighborhood. Town management didn't even expire until August 2013, wanted it approved and pressured P&Z members to approve it. Please underanother error of Bruno's. At the Jan. 22nd Council meeting, stand, the P&Z Commission has no council was to interview P&Z can- power, they only "recommend" to the didates, yet only two of the current Council. The Council also denied that seven P&Z members Volunteer In- permit. It's my understanding Bruno terest Forms were included; another recommended this individual to aperror. Mark Orgeron arrogantly an- peal the decision. Many people believe nounced the P&Z Commission "served the Town is trying to remove the P&Z at the pleasure of the Council" and Commission so they can get people Town Attorney Ward, without review- who won't do any investigations and ing Quartzsite Ordinances, agreed, so just rubberstamp everything Town a Special Meeting was scheduled to management recommends. Bruno is "fire" the entire volunteer P&Z Com- even trying to get Town employees on the P&Z Board to further stack things mission without cause or reason. At the Jan. 28th's Special Council in their favor as they have done with Meeting, Mayor Foster stated Or- other boards. What if the new P&Z dinance 90-16 doesn't give Council Board members go against manageauthority to remove people from the ment's commands? I guess they will P&Z Commission. Foster gave the all be dismissed too. Why would anyP&Z Ordinance to Attorney Goodwin one want to be on the Quartzsite P&Z and asked for interpretation. Attor- Commission and get that abuse? It appears Bruno has withheld imney Goodwin recommended the Ordinance be changed to allow Council portant information from Council re- Page 35 garding multiple complaints (see letters to editor)and probable upcoming lawsuits, as well as TWO "Cease and Desist" orders by Town, revoking the "Relaxation Therapy" business license, and two "Cease and Desist" orders from the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy for not having a license. I wonder what Attorney General Horne will think of the new Quartzsite "government". It looks MUCH worse than ever to me. I doubt many Town Managers and Councils have done anything this drastic without even giving a reason. Doesn't something smell really "fishy" about this whole thing? I'm also upset Bruno and Orgeron are so darn arrogant, dictatorial and confrontational. Is that how our leaders are supposed to act? We saw transparency at first. That didn't last. We were promised "call to the public" right away. Look how that went, it's gone…again. Don't we all remember Ms. Bruno promising Council and everyone she would not exceed 6 months, then we'd have a CERTIFIED Town Manager? Now people are saying Bruno has asked for another year. What next? Does anyone think Bruno, with no real municipal experience, can measure up to a Certified Town Manager with municipal expertise? Why not approve her one month at a time until a Certified Town Manager is hired. Bruno shouldn't have any part in the selection as that would be a conflictof-interest. The Council should hire a "Municipal" Executive Search firm to make a short list brought to our Common Council in Work Sessions to interview. That firm does all criminal, educational, credit and whatever checks are needed along with being a Certified City Manager and definitely from outside of La Paz County with no prior history or allegiances here! Those services are very professional and cost-effective. It's pretty clear that Bruno and Orgeron are running everything with an iron fist and the Council is proving they will just follow anything Bruno and Orgeron brings to them. Everyone is telling me they are fed up with the politically childish and illegal behavior of Bruno and the Council. Do Council members even talk to townspeople to see how they feel things are going? 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