Desert Messenger

September 19, 2012

Desert Messenger is your local connection for news, events, and entertainment!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 23

September 19, 2012 By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear Less than 48 hours after being ap- pointed by Town Council 5-1, Quartz- site Interim Town Manager Laura Bruno held her fi rst press conference at Town Hall. Local press attending the round ta- Changes at Quartzsite Town Hall Brannan exclaimed, "Tell them; I've been fi red!" as he left the meeting, leav- ing council without representation. Bruno explained council has directed ble discussion were John Gutekunst of Parker Pioneer, Shanana Rain Gold- en-Bear of Desert Messenger, Jen- nifer Jones of Desert Freedom Press, and John Wright of ParkerLiveOnline. com/KLPZ Radio. Word spread fast and the hall fi lled to capacity. Bruno introduced herself, sayig she has been in education fi nance for almost 30 years, with a specialty in working with school districts in fi nancial distress. Bruno said her contract is for 6 months or less, emphasising "or less". Bruno explained communication and transparency are among her top priorities, stating, "This town hall be- longs to the community." She is in the process of receiving a new email address and cell phone which will be made available for the public to contact her. Bruno then addressed personnel is- her to "right the ship and do things the proper way." A top priority is to "get our fi nancial house in order." Other priorities include open communication and transparency, re-examining the relationship between council, manager and attorney. She will be conducting a "best practices comparison" of simi- lar towns and cities in Arizona and re-examining the Policies and Proce- dures of the town. The League of Cities and Towns has already agreed to help Bruno set up a series of team building workshops with the council. She add- ed, "There's always ways to improve." Bruno guaranteed the council will re- view the Call to the Public, saying, "I will be working with council to struc- ture a call to the public." Bruno said with a smile, "Remember, When the public's focus shifted to pre- vious issues with administration, she said, "Let's not beat dead horses. We can right the ship!" She asked the commu- nity to meet half way and work together with council and administration. Bruno promised to meet all the stat- utory requirements, creating more friendly meetings for the community. Bruno answered questions about the discrepancy of checks versus employ- ees issue raised by Mayor elect Ed Foster. She said she's already reached out to an independent auditor and the League of Cities and Towns. Regarding Internet postings about sues. She shocked many in the crowd when she announced that Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert had not been fi red, as previously announced. She said, "The [termination] letter was improper and unauthorized." She said Gilbert was still on paid administrative leave. Bruno stated one of her fi rst ac- tions was to place Asst. Town Manager Al Johnson, who wrote the letter with- out knowledge of Acting Town Manag- er Terry Frausto, on paid administra- tive leave pending investigation. When asked about the status of Town Attorney Martin Brannan, she would only say, "he is currently on employed status as Town Attorney." When pushed for more details, she re- peated that Brannan was "at this time, currently employed". At Wednesday's council meeting, a heated exchange ensued between Brannan and members of the public. I've only been on the job a day and a half," which seemed to ease tensions in the crowd. At the council's direction, she will be doing a complete budget analysis for the year 2012-2013. Bruno said she plans a public budget work session very soon with the council. When asked about her plans to seat Ed Foster as mayor, she replied, "That is not my role. The council will be ad- dressing that with their legal counsel." Foster was elected in May, but has not been seated as mayor. Bruno said she's reached out to the attorney handling the matter, but ultimately it is the council's decision. Foster's attorney will argue the case before a judge in La Paz County Superior Court Wed. Sept. 19th. at 1:30pm. "The issue with our insurance coverage is critical," said Bruno. She has already begun an open communication with the Risk Pool, who had threatened pull- ing their coverage of the town. Bruno is looking at alternatives, but the Risk Pool "is willing to work with us and we are willing to accept that offer." Got something to share? • Birth • Obituary • Anniversary Place it FREE in the: Desert Messenger! 541-218-2560 Bruno's involvement with CASA, she said, "That was all litigated many years ago. I was never involved with any suit." California Administrative Service Authority (CASA) was a con- troversial program created to provide an alternative retirement system, a program that ultimately proved to be fl awed, and a liability to the school dis- trict. The district has since withdrawn their participation. Upon her retirement as Deputy Su- perintendent and Chief Financial Of- fi cer of the Sacramento City Unifi ed School District in 2002, the City of Sacramento issued a Resolution Com- mending Laura Bruno "for decades of dedication to public education, and Page 3 recognize the signifi cant contribu- tions Laura has made in improving the quality of education on behalf of the students, parents and residents of the City of Sacramento, overseeing a bud- get of more than $600 million." The California State Legislature As- sembly also issued a Resolution com- mending Bruno on exemplary record of accomplishments in the fi eld of education, applauded on her exem- plary display of public achievement, and conveyed best wishes for all the richness and rewards of an active and productive retirement. She also provided counsel and guid- ance to various California local, re- gional, state, and federal committees and organizations. Bruno answered every question raised by the press and public. If she didn't know the answer, Bruno said she would look into the issue. Afterwards, Council Member Pat Workman, who voted against hiring Bruno, said, "I think she'll be good for our community. We need to give her a chance, and we need to stop all the fi ghting!" The full video will be online at www. Quartzsite Massage & Body Works Licensed in Swedish, Healing Touch, Deep Tissue, and Certified Medical Massage for Arthritis Call Elinore 928-458-0049 for Appt. 62 N. Washington Lic. #MT07050 Important Dates for the November 6th General Election: Voter registration deadline: Early voting starts Oct. 8, 2012 Oct. 11, 2012 Last day to request a ballot by mail: Oct. 26, 2012 Last day to vote early at recorder's offi ce: Nov. 2, 2012 The implementation of Proposition 200 requires every voter to show identifi cation at the polls that matches the information on fi le with the recorder's voter registration rolls. Prop. 200 mandates one picture ID or two non-picture IDs as proof of identifi cation when voting.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Desert Messenger - September 19, 2012