Quartzsite: Where the Sh#t Hit the Fan

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I found the whole situation of Quartzsite, AZ quite fascinating and did a bit of googling to try to find some context.  I may be way off base because only locals can truly know the issues involved and all issues have supporters and detractors.

As far as I can see, the BIG ISSUE here  is due to LaPaz County signing a contract with Yakima  Compost Company of Woodinville, WA  for operations to truck in and process biosolids  aka “sewage sludge” on a tract of land adjacent to an existing landfill in Parker, AZ (the La Paz County seat)   about 35 miles north of Quartzsite.  Quartzite is the junction of Interstate 10 and Hwy 95

La Paz County and Yakima Composting Company  had a dispute and the contract was broken.  The case went to court and the judgement went against La Paz County to the tune of $9.5 million dollars.   The County (with a population of less than 21,000)  has not paid and interest has accrued to date for a grand total of $14 million and will continue adding interest until  the judgement is satisfied!

Various parties have proposals on the table as to how to satisfy the court ordered judgement and the partisan politics  haave devolved into the disorder shown on all the Youtube videos.

Basically, “The Sh*t Hit the Fan” in La Paz County and Quartzsite has the videos to prove it!

~LTG

Public Private Partnership proposal
Article briefly describes the of the proposals.
  The last comment  by The Desert Freedom may be a post by the woman who was arrested while trying to address the town meeting.

 

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5 responses to “Quartzsite: Where the Sh#t Hit the Fan

  1. Fascinating! Good detective work, Grannie!

    Do you know why the contract was broken? Also, what is the town of Quartzsite’s role in this, since the contract was between La Paz County and the composting company? Was Jennifer Jones — the citizen who was physically removed from Quartzsite City Council’s public meeting — somehow involved in the contract dispute or in the uncovering of the city council’s corruption?

     
  2. lowtechgrannie

    Eo, there were a lot of conflicting stories about the contract. I didn’t read them in depth, just that the County lost their case on Appeal.

    I’m not sure how the different town factions line up. There are at least 3 or 4 different proposals on the table. The locals are divided and obviously very bitter. A previous Quartzsite mayor is lobbying for a Public Private Partnership and says he’s got investors with $15,000,000 financing. The former City Attorney of Quartzsite is now on the County Council. So, Quartzsite has a number of players in the game and they have a checkered history with the citizens, as all politicans do.

    $14,0000,000 is such a mammoth amount for a small rural population to grapple with. The court’s judgement was delivered several years ago and the amount has increased by 50% in the intervening years. It’s not surprising tempers are flaring.

     
  3. Mad Angel is on FB

    YES…good job!

     
  4. lowtechgrannie

    Link to judge’s decision:
    COUNTY OF LA PAZ v. YAKIMA COMPOST CO.
    233 P.3d 1169 (2010)
    Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division 1, Department C.
    June 22, 2010.

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=in%20azco%2020100622001.xml&docbase=cslwar3-2007-curr

     
  5. http://powerandpolitic.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/chief-jeff-gilbert-guilty-or-not-guilty-find-out/

    Just to give you a piece of the article.

    Below is the town of Quartzsite’s Code Enforcement Policy. I am just going to say it. Your town is screwing you every day by having the most lenient regulations. Instead of suing the town and town employees try changing the town’s rules, add more restrictions to the council and town employees. They are able to run this town into the ground and harass, intimidate and push any one around they like because there is not enough regulations to stop them. It’s called beating the system when you are the system. If I lived in Quartzsite I would be rounding up all the locals that have any experience with politics, law enforcement, and a judicial or law background and start writing provisions until you are able to protect the people from the elected and appointed.

    Continued

    People of Quartzsite. Fight back by writing new provisions to control your chief of police, city council, town manager, etc. Quit letting them run all over. Require the City Council to have an ethics committee. Address the duties of the Police Chief and make sure his duties do not consist of enforcing code violations before code violations are even presented to the property owner or tenant. This town is not going to get better until the townspeople play the political and legal game that town officials think they are getting away with. Anyone can write a proposition, ordinance, etc. Get them through the council, get support from the majority, then film the whole thing and we will be back to make a scene, as professionals of course. Use an ethics committee to define what is appropriate, regulate the officials, and define what their penalties are for violations. This town is vague and only defines what penalties there are for the people not the officials as well.

    By creating an ethics committee you are creating a checks and balances for your city officials and defining the penalties for such violations. The citizens of Quartzsite can also implement through the council or ethics committee a progress report presented during city council meetings that are open to the public. The progress report should be based on a performance evaluation submitted by the citizens prior to each quarterly review from the ethics committee.

     

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