Sunday, February 24, 2013

Can Quartzsite Survive Another Year of Laura Bruno?

On Tuesday, February 26th, the Quartzsite Town Council will meet to decide whether or not they should extend Laura Bruno's contract for one more year. I'm sure we all remember her infamous Sept. 14th press conference when she stated in no uncertain terms that she would be only be at the helm of the Titanic (aka Quartzsite) for 6 months. 

On Feb. 14th, at the Town Hall meeting, the panel was asked what efforts have been done to find a fully vetted and qualified Town Manager. Mike Jewitt admitted that they had taken no action to find a replacement for Ms. Bruno and left it at that. No follow up was given, no reason why the council and Bruno have changed their minds about finding a qualified a Town Manager, nada. 

Given that Bruno has been more of a hindrance than a help in moving Quartzsite forward, we have to wonder why the council is willing to stand by her side as she steers Quartzsite towards complete bankruptcy. We don't get the complete love fest with this woman. 

Let's look at the insurance situation for a minute. When the Council decided to put Alex Taft on administrative leave last August, the risk pool sent out their first warning that Quartzsite needed to follow the rules, policies and procedures or risk having a significant increase in premiums. If you do a public records request for any and all communication from the risk pool threatening to increase rates or cancel the coverage before the council took action against Taft, you won't find any. Why? Because the risk pool was fine with Taft in charge, and they knew that the actions of the council were exposing them to a claim by Taft. The risk pool never threatened to cancel coverage until Bruno was put in charge and the council repeatedly involved themselves in employee matters that the council members had no business (according to town code) being involved in.

Since Bruno made no attempt to salvage the relationship with the risk pool, and chose to do things her way, the Town is now without the lower cost for more coverage risk pool. We are also stuck with an insurance company that offers much less coverage for much greater cost. 

With the new insurance, we have $100,000 deductible. That doesn't cover legal fees, like the policy with the risk pool did. How many cases can Quartzsite take on without completely bankrupting the Town? Not many, if we are reading the budget correctly. Given the way the current regime operates, it is only a matter of time before the law suits start pouring in. Can the Town survive even a few suits at $100,000 each? We don't think so. 

Keeping Chief Gilbert around for a few more years ensures that the law suits will keep coming. In the 30 claims filed last year against the Town, Gilbert was listed in 29 of them. If the Town were smart, they would eliminate the biggest source of risk, and that would be Gilbert. But being smart doesn't seem to be in the cards for these bozo's. Read on, if you have a strong stomach. 

In a completely ridiculous move, Bruno told the law firm of Curtis, Goodwin, Schneider, Udall and Schwab to file an appeal of Judge Burke's December 4th decision. The case Burke heard was whether or not Al Johnson, Janet Brannan, and Nora Yackley could be represented by Brannan's husband and former Town attorney. Judge Burke agreed that Brannan did not have a conflict, and he could represent them. Judge Burke also ordered that Norma Crooks could not be on the Personnel Advisory Board because she is a current Town Council member. Town code prohibits the council from taking any action on employee matters, so being a member of both the Personnel Advisory Board and Town Council member is a clear violation of Town code. 

Rather than accept Judge Burke's ruling, and proceed with the Personnel Advisory Board hearings for those three employees, the Town filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals because Bruno really wants Norma Crooks on the Board. Given that the Advisory Board has no authority to reinstate any employee, we have to wonder why they are fighting so hard and spending so much money to keep Crooks there. If they could reverse Bruno's decision to terminate employees, it would make sense to fight this. Especially given the weak reasons given to terminate those employees, not to mention the illegal investigations done by Bruno's pal Tony Ford. I'm betting that the Town is scared that because the employees were wrongfully terminated, they know that they are exposed to litigation, so Bruno probably thinks having Crooks on the board, she can bully the other two members into agreeing that they should have been fired and maybe they won't sue. 

When Attorney Dave Ward asked Bruno why they are going to waste so much money and appeal Burke's decision, Bruno replied "this is to teach them a lesson." So Bruno is willing to throw money away appealing the decision to teach a few fired employees a lesson? On what planet does that make sense? So far the tab for this suit is close to $30,000 according to the invoices on the Town's website. If she had to pay for it out of her pocket, it would be different, but she's using money from an already financially strapped town to teach a few former employees that they shouldn't question her authority, they shouldn't mess with her pal Chief Gilbert. As that old saying goes- this ain't business, bitch. It's personal. 

Was this the plan all along? Did the council just play us all last September when they assured us we'd have a properly vetted and fully qualified Town Manager at the end of 6 months? Could someone bring up what a complete failure Bruno has been at the meeting on Tuesday morning? If anyone has a chance to ask the council why they are so committed to keeping Bruno around, could you please share with the rest of us? Because we can't figure it out.

Monday, December 24, 2012

P&Z should watch P's & Q's

The woeful state of affairs within QTown's administrative offices being talked about around town with a fervor that we usually only see in the wee hours of Black Friday waiting for the doors to open at Family Dollar. Isn't there anything else happening in Town? No? 

Well OK. I don't want anyone to get shanked while waiting for a juicy story so I'll tell you a tale about a little know department called Planning and Zoning, and the even little-er known employees working in said department. Gather around children, and prepare to be entertained, enthralled, and embroiled.

Once upon a time, lets say hmmmm, about five years ago, there was a shriveled old lady who worked in the Town's planning and zoning department. This lady, we'll call her Breath Craast, was very close to the town manager at the time, we'll call him Mr. Ban Shield. One day, she decided that P&Z wasn't doing it for her anymore, or maybe Mr. Shield did for one reason or another. One of the big mysteries of this story is why this shake up occurred. Perhaps an audit of the Town's finances during Mr. Shield reign would be helpful, but this is a fairy tale, not the retelling of a miracle, so that wasn't done we aren't holding our breath for it to happen now. 

So Breath comes in to Mr. Shield's office one day, and says, "there is a very competent worker in the children's library and I think she'd be great in P&Z. She's trustworthy, has the patience of a saint (obviously, she has to deal with kids all day and hasn't killed anyone) and I feel I've done all I can to further my own interests in this department." So she asks Mr. Shield, "how about me and this competent person trade jobs?"

This would work out great! Breath would get a chance to bungle up another department, and the fair library maiden would have a chance to really shine and make P&Z something the Town so desperately needed - a department that would function properly. So Mr. Shield goes about moving these chess pieces around and all seems super fab. 

Until one very cold and dark day, when some jerk mentioned that Breath hadn't had a fingerprint and background check done. Damn noisy people, always trying to cause problems for Mr. Shield by expecting him to do things "the right way" and "according to town code". Bastards. Well, perhaps it wasn't required by the towns personnel policy back in the olden days when shriveled old Breath was hired, or maybe someone screwed up and just neglected to perform the fingerprint check, criminal history, and drug test that all Town employees have to have done in order to become an actual Town employee (we hear that is happening once again. Do you think they are just dumb or deliberately trying to violate as many Town codes as they can?)

So why is this becoming an issue? After all, Breath has worked for the Town for years and years. Why should she have to subject herself to such tests now? Well, that is because of the job she is being moved into will put her into close proximity to children. You see, parents and the Town actually want their employees, especially ones who work with children, to have nothing icky in their background so they perform these checks to make sure that a potential candidate doesn't have drug problem, isn't a pedophile or registered sex offender, or using an assumed name. Or has a felony conviction anywhere at any time in their lives. Those candidates who have had any of the things described above and maybe a few other scenarios, are invited to exit the premises and not return. A complete criminal history check would show if this potential employee had a felony conviction in another state, too! Like if someone moved here from the Pacific Northwest, well their criminal history follows them around! Sort of like a shadow. This magical criminal history check  will even turn up something in ones background who used to have a different name, like a previous married and divorced name, or even a maiden name. The wonders of science and technology never cease to amaze!

Well, the fair maiden who is now working in Planning and Zoning is doing a stellar job, and she isn't really interested in returning to working in the children's library. So Breath, thinking that if she's forced to have this unfair background check done, it might reveal something in her past she isn't super proud of. And if it's revealed, will find herself out of a job and subject to public ridicule. 

Figuring there was no way to escape the past from catching up with her, Breath turns to Mr. Shield, and in a closed door cry-fest, she bares her soul to him. Breath came out of Mr. Shields office much like a devout Catholic leaving the confession booth. As a matter of fact, Mr. Shield, thinking he was very much like Pope Benedict XVI, even asked Breath to kiss his ring on her way out the door - he thought very highly of himself, we hear he still does.

During the closed door confession, Breath and Mr. Shield decide that unfortunately they aren't going to be able to have Breath continue to work in the children's library. Since all the employees were abuzz about Breath's lack of background check, she can't just go back to P&Z without creating some serious grumbling among the worker bees. So it is decided that Breath will go ahead and retire from town employment, and leave that nasty past safely in the past. The benevolent Mr. Shield, says that whatever Breath told him in his office is "attorney-client privileged" info and will not be revealed to anyone. Yes, we think its ridiculous too, considering Mr. Shield was the Town Manager and not Breath's personal attorney or priest, but knowing how Mr. Shield operates, this is pretty typical of him. 

In a final parting gift to Breath, as he closes her personnel file, which obviously won't have any of her confession in it, writes - OK to Rehire. We think that is kind of shitty, since now this person can waltz back in like 5 years later and start work right away! No need to do a criminal history or background check, because she was a town employee before! 

This tale may or may not be true. If one were so inclined, they could ask about how employee background checks are done and if every single person working for the town - even if they are just "interim" or "acting" - has had a completed background check. If one does happen to find the answer, please share, because getting any information from our ITM Madam Bluto is like nailing jelly to a wall. An exercise in futility. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To Protect and Serve Who?

One has to wonder who QPD Sergeant James Schultz is protecting and serving on Sunday mornings here in Quartzsite. His own ass? We hear he's really great at doing that. We've learned recently that Sgt. Schultz has taken to appearing in full uniform, driving his QPD Tahoe with his family, at Sunday church services. Does anyone besides us think that's just really odd? Is he getting paid to attend church services? Must be, if he's showing up in full uniform driving an official Town vehicle. Is the Town providing him his offering when the basket gets passed around? Maybe the Town wants all employees hitting the local church services to appeal to various deities to help them "right this ship" which Bluto so famously vowed to do. 

That must be why we recently spotted Bluto doing Native American peace pipe ceremonies with Grain Goldenglare and Marr Sparefat. We wonder what's in that pipe they are smoking - probably something hallucinatory because they are all still acting as if everything is a-ok. A friend recently saw Vile Gash and Ruh Ruh Romp Bones coming out of snake handling services over by the Big Tent. While technically not Town employees, they sure seem to be 100% committed to Bluto's reign of terror. Most likely praying to the snake gods to save this little Town, so they can continue to act superior to everyone. Or maybe they are praying for a cure to whatever Romp's speaking impairment is. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they appeared to be fine, no snake bites inflicted. More likely than not, Vile bored the snakes to tears with her shameless self promotion - she was a headhunter in corporate America for years and worked on the first moon launch and invented the cargo barges which traveled along the Erie Canal! Much like we will never forget 9-11, Vile will never forget how important she is. Once the snakes were sufficiently subdued, she probably bit them. We are sure the toxin she produces is no match for a local rattlesnake. 

Back to Sgt. Schultz, do you think the Chief knows he is doing this Sunday morning gig? We are going to say hell yes. After all, the Chief controls everything his sergeants do. Plus Schultz, being a loyal subject (except for those few weeks when he was Acting Chief when the only thing he was loyal to were his own interests) would never do anything without his Chief's approval. That plus the fact that the church which Schultz attends is directly across the street from Dilbert's house makes it perfectly clear the Chief knows about this. 

You know what Schultz might be praying for? That no one at the Veterans Administration gets wind of his apparent scam to get increased disability benefits. About a week ago we spent some time over at the VFW, and left with some interesting information. First, many of the men we talked to were disabled as a result from their service to our country. Second, they had to fight like crazy to get the meager VA disability and care they were entitled to after they served their country. Third, they really don't appreciate someone who is trying to pull a fast one on the VA because in the end, this makes all veterans look bad and makes people doubt the sacrifices they made for all of us. Bottom line, they seemed kind of pissed off that someone in our Town seems to be playing both sides of the fence. 

Now, we aren't saying Schultz didn't suffer from injuries related to his Army Reserve service, we don't know if he did or didn't. All we have heard about from anyone who has talked to Schultz says he constantly talks about the problems with his knees and he says he's on the list to be scheduled for surgery. He also says he thinks it stinks the small amount of disability pay he receives each month, and is working on appealing his benefits percentage to get more money each month. 

Maybe someone could ask Schultz why if he is, in fact, disabled and needs assistance from the VA, how come he's still a fully functioning patrol sergeant and seems to need no accommodations to do his job? When he was placed on light duty and told he needed to get physical from a POST doctor by Al Johnson because of the huge liability he presented for the Town, he pitched a hissy fit. As soon as Bluto was at the helm of the Quartzsite Titanic, he immediately went off light duty and is now out in the area, protecting and serving our citizens and his fellow officers. As long as no one needs him to actually run or do any kind of physical work, he's just fine. 

He might want to say a prayer that these upset veterans don't pick up a pen and write to the DAV to report his potential fraud. Maybe God answers worshipers prayers more quickly if they show up to church in full QPD uniform. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Look what I found!

Whilst perusing my recently received email, I stumbled upon this gem of a document. So much comes in to my inbox, I can't keep up with all the goodies I receive. Then one day, like today, I get bored and go through all the funny pictures I get sent from icanhascheeseburger and my silly friends. Most of the time I laugh and laugh but once in a while, I read stuff like this and get pissed off. How come nothing is being done to stop Dilberts reign of terror? How many people have to be victimized by this imbecile? How many of my friends have to suffer not only working for him, but then be treated like crap and tossed aside when he doesn't like them anymore? Most folks would look at the pattern revealed in the past few years and think, "gee, I'm really kind of a fuck up and bad manager, I should do something about that." But not Dilbert. He looks at his actions and thinks "wow, I really am Jesus and can do whatever the fuck I want." People are disposable to this idiot, you aren't loyal to him, you go bye bye. I, for one, am sick of seeing my pals tremble in fear when he approaches. 

So feast your eyes on the document Jeff Dilbert and Laura Bluto don't want you to see.

Janet Brannan's Whistleblower Complaint

Gotta go look at some LOLcats now to make me less angry. 

Enjoy. Or not. It's not pretty but does shed some light on this joke of a police chief. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Insuring the Uninsurable

I was taking a walk around Quartzsite recently, and got to thinking about all that has happened in the few short months since Bluto took the helm of the ship she declared to adoring masses and press that she would right. 

The first thing I thought about was how wonderful that September 25th meeting was when Bluto told the council and assembled townsfolk that she had saved the day, the risk pool would NOT be dropping the Town and though we'd be on restriction, we would still have the risk pool coverage, and she had made major progress with repairing the relationship with them. Remember that? How we all clapped and cheered, thinking we dodged another expensive bullet. I almost wished I had some rose petals and Hygeia's love beads to throw at her feet as she walked out of the room. Those were the days....

Then fast forward to Nov. 13th and what do we hear coming out of Bluto's blowhole? "The Town has been in contact with an insurance broker who specializes in hard to place municipalities. She said they would be getting quotes from 15 different insurance companies." I got this quote from the Parker Pioneer because I can't stand reading the minutes online at the Town's website. Can't anyone in that building type? Or use spell check? For the love of all that is holy, have someone that maybe graduated high school (a non Quartzsite one) proof read what you put out in the public realm! You can read the entire article here-

Parker Pioneer Article  

Anyways, I got to thinking about this whole crazy scene with Jerry Pukkerson, Bluto, Forgeron, and what their ulterior motives could be. You didn't think they were doing any of their shenanigans out of a sense of duty, honor, and for the good of the Town, did you? Please.

What started as a little kernel of knowledge tucked way deep in my brain, back behind the latest episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, and right next to the LOLcats collection, started to grow and make its way to the forefront. I started thinking about how much money stands to be made for the broker (or middleman if you prefer) who puts together a sweet (for them) high priced insurance package to insure an almost uninsurable town. Then I remembered that Jerry Pukkerson's wife Michele is an insurance broker. 

Interesting. I'd almost completely forgotten about her wearing an insurance brokers hat! All I ever see her do is sling mediocre (at best) food at the restraunt people lovingly (or not so lovingly) call "Dirty's". Now I am no food connoisseur, but I prefer to eat meals at an establishment not known for its dirt. But that's just me. 

So thinking about how Bluto, Forgeron, and the Pukkerson's spend so many hours around these dirty tables, discussing dirty dealings, and generally being less than clean makes me wonder, how much money might be going through their dirty hands in the next few months? Could it be enough to cause a person to toss aside their ethics and morals? Obviously I'm not including Bluto in this last statement because if she ever had any morals or ethics, they were left in Sacramento along with her CASA pension scheme and she didn't leave a forwarding address for them to catch up to her. 

Makes me wonder. How about you?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All Hail King Forgeron!

Seems that our idiotic town council is being more idiotic than usual, so I did some digging into what this council could possibly be thinking. Yeah, I know, it seems like they don't think at all, just follow like lemmings off the cliff. But I digress, back to them thinking. So the intel I got was, that they aren't going to honor Alex Taft's contract because Forgeron has them convinced that they aren't bound by a previous councils actions. 

Let that sink in for a minute- not bound by a previous council's actions.

This has to be some of the most ass backwards thinking I have ever heard about. I know that as a teacher, Mark only has to be a grade level higher than the grade he is teaching, but you have to wonder what kinds of misinformation he is teaching to the kids who are unfortunate enough to go to his school. 

Put yourself in Forgeron's mind for a minute. There you are, in your shithole house, sitting in your Lazyboy watching Hillbilly Handfishin, glorious in your dingy wife beater and boxers, a bucket of Church's Chicken gizzards resting on your massive midsection and a Keystone Light (gotta watch that girlish figure) in your meaty fist. You got a D- in history and the constitution was never your strong suit, your whole understanding of how that whole congress thing works comes from Arby's placemats and Snapple lids. So there you are, thinking that you can't fire Taft with cause, because her contract says she pretty much has to be convicted of a crime before you can do that. And you don't want to fire her without cause, because then you'd have to honor her contract and pay out her severance. Being the bitter old man that you are, you sure as hell don't want to do that. So you come up with this plan to say you do not have to honor this contract because you weren't on the council when it was signed. Sounds logical, right? 

Wrong. Mark, I think perhaps you should crack open one of those old history books you expect your students to use, and read up on what John Adams meant when he said "We are a nation of laws, not men". Readers Digest condensed version for you- this means that while congressmen (or Town councilmen) come and go, the law continues on. So your theory that this council can't be made to honor Taft's contract is as flawed as your thinking that its OK to cavort around town with an underage girl. 

If Marks logic were true, every time a new session of congress starts and new members gets sworn in, all the laws of the previous congress go out the window and we start with a blank slate. I think what Mark wants is a monarchy. New king comes into power, all the old kings laws are replaced with new ones. I understand Mark thinks he is royalty, but we don't have monarchy rule here in the US. We have a democracy. There has only ever been one Common Council of the Town of Quartzsite. You, Mark, are just a seat holder. Others have been in that seat before, and assuming you and your buddy Bluto don't bring on the death of the Town, others will fill that seat after you are gone. 

Saying that this council can't be bound by a contract that a previous one signed is ludicrous. Especially given that current council members Anderson, Kelly, Crooks and Jewitt signed Taft's contract. You gotta wonder what he's telling them to make them forget that they approved every item in her contract not that long ago. Is it possible that they all have senile dementia? Could Mark be spiking their water with some magic potion that turns them into brainless yes men (and women)? Is he hypnotizing them? Or maybe he has blackmail material on them like Jerry Pukkerson has on Carol Kelley. Makes you wonder what would cause this group of imbeciles to voluntarily run off that cliff.  

So Quartzsiters, prepare yourself for another lawsuit. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another day... another bungled assault case

Good grief... For the second time in as many weeks, wanna be policewoman Flabby Farcia has screwed up yet another case. I'm beginning to understand why Chief Dilbert doesn't want his sergeants taking calls. Maybe he's smarter than we thought. 

No. He isn't. 

Because if Dilbert were smarter, he'd have placed her on administrative leave pending an investigation into the last case she fucked up. You remember, the one where Farcia let a transient who ran over a woman then fled the scene get off with a citation and a smile. Heh, I said "get off". Which is probably the only thing that Farcia and Dilbert think about. Seems like it was only last week, but it was actually 10 days ago that we were hearing the news of her massive level of incompetence. Statistically, this has got to be something of a Guiness Book of World Record setting fuckery. I wonder if they keep track of such things? I'm gonna call and ask. If they don't, this would be a great time and place to start. 

Details are still trickling in to our bat cave, so we will update this breaking story as we get more info. Rumor has it that Dilbert has sent Farcia off to some special "training", not sure if that's code talk for a romantic get away for the two of them. I hope they get a room with one of those sweet heart shaped bathtubs! Then maybe they can use it to soak off some of their combined fluid excretions and come back to the Q not smelling like a 14 year old boys unwashed sheets. 

As a citizen of this Town, I'd kind of like to know why we are paying this obviously incompetent sergeant 50k a year to do little more than service the Chief. It's abundantly clear that she is just another liability for this liability laden town. Let's hope our prospective new insurance companies aren't catching wind of these constant screw ups. Heh, I said "screw". 

It seems to me that if we are stuck with the Chief (which we seem to be since our council and interim town manager have major boner for him) it would be far more cost effective to pay a hooker on the days he needs to inflict some Viagra induced lovin on someone. Granted, that would be both cruel and unusual punishment for the hooker, but at least we wouldn't have to pay her a fat salary, health insurance, and retirement benefits. On the upside, unlike Flabby Farcia, the hooker wouldn't be forced spend hours on end at the Eatery. So, you know, that's a pretty good selling point.