Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quartzsite Vendors Under Attack!

Well, you had to see this coming...after the last minute "work session" when Mayor Foster was out of town, the new punitive proposals for this seasons incoming vendors was placed on tonight's agenda. Be there at 7:00 pm and see for yourselves what your Town Council thinks about "due process" and the Constitutional  "rights of the accused".

Also on tonight's agenda, a proposal to hijack the Mayor's lawful control of the meeting and give the invocation to a rotating list of local clergy. Like it or not, the law on this is clear and any request for "divine guidance" must be non denominational to the point that a "Christian" prayer which mentions "Jesus" is over the line. A brief moment of silence is acceptable, so here's a novel suggestion to our self serving officials, don't break the law on this one folks!

Our Police Chief has placed an item on tonight's agenda to put you in prison for 4 months, if you feed the wildlife. I wonder how he intends to collect the evidence required for a image of Jeff crawling around the desert with a plastic baggie picking up coyote and hawk droppings for forensic analysis of "people food" does bring a smile to my face though. Way to earn that huge salary Jeff! By the way you overpaid moron, we already have a state law that says this is a "petty offense".

And topping my list for exposing the Town to another lawsuit is a proposal for your council to usurp the Mayor's authority and remove their critics from future meetings. The arrogance of this is beyond comprehension as the law is not only very clear, but the recent "training session" reinforced the rights of the citizen to protected "political speech" at  the meeting from which no citizen may legally be barred from attending. Even "disorderly conduct" under this limited forum may not exceed a $20 fine, according to "Decorum of Council Meetings" on the website for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. I hope everyone is paying attention to the law - just bring $20 to the meetings in case you have to post your bond! See you tonight!

Decorum of Council Meetings

Each month, Jeri Kishiyama Auther, League staff attorney, will answer different legal questions that she receives from cities and towns. These questions are for general information only. If you, as a city or town elected official and employee, have a specific legal question, always check with your city or town attorney.

A frequent question from council members has to do with decorum and control of council meetings. Council members inquire about proper conduct at meetings, and whether the Council may sanction another Council member if a Council member disobeys parliamentary procedure or becomes disorderly during a meeting.

Surprisingly, an Arizona statute addresses this particular issue. A.R.S. § 9-234, originally adopted in 1901, states:

A. The common council shall judge the elections, qualifications and returns of its members. It may prescribe rules for the government of its proceedings, may punish any member or other person for disorderly conduct at any meeting of the council by a fine not exceeding twenty dollars, and by imprisonment until the payment of the fine, and with the concurrence of four councilmen may expel any member, but not a second time for the same cause. Emphasis added.

The foregoing statute allows a number of things, including adopting rules of procedure, punishing not only a Councilperson, but any "disorderly" person, by assessing a fine and imprisonment, or expulsion of the Councilperson from the meeting.

Some cities and towns have adopted ordinances for rules of procedure for public meetings. Examples include:

• No Council member may interrupt another Council member, except to make a point of order or of personal privilege. If the Council member continues to "break the rules" the presiding officer may call the Council member to order, at which time the Council member shall cease speaking, but may "appeal" the presiding officer's decision immediately to the entire Council. If the appeal is denied, the Council member shall remain silent. Further, the Council member is subject to censure "or other punishment as the Council, by a three-quarters vote, deems just and proper under the law." City of Phoenix Municipal Code, Sec. 2-60, Rule 6.

• The Mayor or Mayor Pro Tempore "shall preserve order and decorum, decide all questions of order and conduct the proceedings of the meetings … ." City of Scottsdale Municipal Code, Sec. 2-37.

• The Mayor shall preserve strict order and decorum at the meetings and may appoint a sergeant-at-arms at the Council meetings, whose responsibility is to carry out all orders and instructions given by the mayor for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum. The sergeant-at-arms has the authority to remove any person (including a Council member) who violates the order and decorum of the meeting. If a member of the public makes "personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks, or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council, or who interferes with the order of business before the council, and who fails upon request of the mayor to cease the activity, shall be barred from further audience before the council for the remainder of that meeting unless permission to continue is granted by majority vote of the council." Official Code of the Town of Marana, Sec. 2- 4-3 and Sec. 2-4-7.

• The Mayor may assess a fine of not more than $25.001 upon any Council member for disorderly conduct at a Council meeting upon a concurring vote of three Council members, and the Council member may be imprisoned until payment of the fine. Additionally, any Council member may be expelled for any cause determined sufficient by the Council upon a vote of five Council members and the judgment of the Council as to the causes for fine or expulsion shall be conclusive (nonappealable). Official Code of the City of Mesa, Sec. 1-5-5

These examples range from "preserving decorum," to censure, to fines and imprisonment of both Council members and members of the public. Some municipalities allow appeals of the punishment, or punishment only upon vote of the Council, and in some ordinances, super majority votes. Short of adopting an ordinance, a Council could also choose to initiate a set of rules or Council procedures that would be agreed to by all members.

Common Council municipalities, which are the smaller municipalities, have A.R.S. § 9-234 as an available tool to preserve decorum of Council meetings without any implementing ordinance. Arizona case law does not exist regarding this particular clause of the statute. If your Council is unsure of how to exercise this statute, please consult your City or Town Attorney.

A.R.S. § 9-234 limits the fine to $20.00.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns

1820 W. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone: 602-258-5786

Fax: 602-253-3874


  1. I've got my $20 and like I told the Chief the night he wrongfully arrested Mike Roth "go ahead, cite me!" This b.s. about banning people from the meetings is illegal, by the way
    A.R.S § 38-431.01(A). states: “All meetings of any public body shall be public meetings and all persons so desiring shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.”
    The law is clear, and it's about time we the people demand the town council abide by it!!!

  2. OH VIGILANTE VENDOR, You may wanna re-read the law you think you know so much about. And stop acting as if you know everything. People of Qtz need to wake up to your B.S. and see you for what you are A NOTHING!

    A La Paz County jury convicted Michael Roth, 45, of Quartzsite, Ariz, of two counts of disorderly conduct Oct. 8. Roth faces up to six months in jail for each count. The case was heard over two days in La Paz County Superior Court with Judge Michael Burke presiding. The case was prosecuted by Matthew Elias.

    According to a press release from the County Attorney's Office, on April 13, 2010, Roth intentionally disrupted a Quartzsite Town Council meeting through his verbal and physical conduct. When Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert attempted to remove Roth from the meeting, by means of a lawful arrest, Roth continued to disrupt the meeting.

    La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman made the following statement:

    "Matt Elias did a tremendous job prosecuting this case. He knew the case inside and out and really dominated the courtroom with his mastery of the facts and law. Chief Gilbert is a true professional and he should be commended, as he kept a tense situation from spiraling out of control.

    Unfortunately, there are people in La Paz County that mistakenly believe free speech is absolute and without any limitations or restrictions. The verdict in this case should send a clear message to everyone that there are time, place and manner restrictions on free speech. I would like to thank the jury for fully understanding the issues and

    upholding their oath to follow the law."

    Roth will be sentenced Nov. 8.

  3. Keep running your mouth and you will be our guest in La Paz County Jail. Looking forward to seeing you there.

  4. Oh, "Anonymous" who is posting from "Jeffyland" (Lake Havasu)that sounds like threat, harassment and intimidation under color of law, a federal offense...Thanks for playing!
    Domain Name ? (Commercial)
    IP Address 24.121.145.# (CABLEVISION OF LAKE HAVASU)
    ISP NPG Cable
    Continent : North America
    Country : United States (Facts)
    State : Arizona
    City : Lake Havasu City
    Lat/Long : 34.5139, -114.2929 (Map)
    Language English (U.S.)
    Operating System Microsoft WinNT
    Browser Internet Explorer 8.0
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; GTB6.6; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; MDDC; .NET4.0C)
    Javascript version 1.3
    Resolution : 1152 x 720
    Color Depth : 32 bits
    Time of Visit Oct 27 2010 1:13:03 pm
    Last Page View Oct 27 2010 1:23:30 pm
    Visit Length 10 minutes 27 seconds
    Page Views 9
    Referring URL
    Visit Entry Page
    Visit Exit Page
    Out Click
    Time Zone UTC-8:00
    Visitor's Time Oct 27 2010 1:13:03 pm
    Visit Number 15,643

  5. And the details of Michael Roth's case can be viewed at:
    Don't worry "Anonymous", the final result of Roth's appeal will be covered here in detail in an upcoming blog post! I believe that Sammy "the Bull-y" Vederman may have done his end zone /touchdown dance a wee bit preemptively.

  6. Anonymous, you may wish to think out of the box and read the post at Parker live on line and get an education. I have seen the videos and information related to the case and I can tell you that Michael Roth will win his appeal and with new trials be acquitted. Chief Jeff Gilbert has again IMHO placed himself and the Town of Quartzsite into a major Civil Law Suit before this is all over just because he refused to follow the law!

  7. Gee "anonymous" I never claimed to know everything but it's pretty clear I know more than the overpaid "staff" and town attorney. I won in court against Ms Goldenbear and Mr Bearcat and foiled your evil plans to silence unpopular speech. Truth hurts doesn't it? Especially when the truth about what are council members are really doing on the people's dime comes to light. Truth is sometimes ugly but it can't be fixed if it's continually covered up. Jeffy doesn't know the law, and that is clear, so he can try threaten me with arrest - again, and again, but I am breaking no law. He's had 2 1/2 years to find something on me - but there's NOTHING to find!!!Unlike "vice" mayor Cowell...I don't even have skeletons in my closet. Nope, no convicted sex offenders/drug dealers in the family, not even going to use the tax payers money to pave a road to increase my property value. I'm the real thing folks! Nothing to gain by doing the PEOPLES business except the satisfaction that comes from serving my fellow citizens. Nothing to lose either. And the threat of 3 hots and a cot doesn't scare me Jeffy - I could use an all expenses paid vacation. But in the end, the light will finally prevail over the darkness that is trying to suffocate this awesome town.

  8. I'm glad you beat the brown nose bitch. Congratulations!

  9. Hahaha just because my posts come from LHC means nothing other then I have family here and they have internet. Your so called lat/long are wrong but nice try. If someone attending a meedint can't behave themselves it's called disorderly conduct which means bye bye. Well I would love to sit and chat but the family bbq is about to start. ta ta

  10. I never said the lat/long were anyone's home, rather, it's the cell tower the signal is being received on in a certain persons neighborhood.

  11. A quote from John Wayne, “Life is hard. It’s harder when you are stupid”! Well stupid, guess again because you failed to understand that they can track you right back to the same Bat Time, same Bat channel. With the new computer chips in computers each time you go on the internet you leave an identity trail that is unique to your computer, service provider and all logs and records. Hope you’re not into child porn as when they come after you they will even find that out!

  12. A.R.S. 13-2927 Unlawful feeding of wildlife

    B. This section applies in a county with a population of more than two hundred eighty thousand persons.

    While this is on the books, it does not apply to La Paz County. So, a town ordinance if deemed necessary, would be required to make feeding wildlife a crime.

  13. The question is not whether the Town can create an ordinance, or if one is needed. The question is whether the Town can mandate sentencing guidelines harsher than the "petty offense" guidelines the courts must comply with, and if this discrepancy would allow a savvy lawyer to appeal a conviction. Can you answer that? The Town Council chose not to.

  14. Rain blogged that the town has $15 3 day vendor permits...but she's too stupid to understand it hasn't even been signed into law yet! You can't just blow into town and get one, but she's falsely posting like you can. Then again, it's not like anyone believes the stuff she says anymore. That heifer's got zero credibility in this town since she got into politics!