Marijuana: It doesn't pass the smell test.
Here is how it works. There are two ways to get something on a ballot, either by petition of the people or by an initiative of the council. In November the ballot is presented as a question for the people to vote no or yes. Initiatives are for the council to communicate a need to the people. A petition is the people's way of communicating to the council what they want on a ballot. A minimum number of signatures is required to qualify for the ballot.
This past spring, a petition fell WAY short of the minimum signatures required to legalize retail marijuana to be grown and sold in our city. The lack of required minimum signatures signified a rejection by the people.
The citizen petition process is designed to discourage authoritarian law. There are five city councilmen and three seem to not agree with the will of the people. Instead they are making the people vote for something they have already said no to.
Let's try this from a different perspective. On the November ballot, the council is asking the voters to consider a 1/2 percent sales tax increase. That is a need the council is asking for, but on the same ballot they are also intervening on what the people have clearly indicated they don't want. This begs the question, "Do they know something that we don't know?" It appears that three councilmen do and two don't. This initiative gives the impression that all of the council are pro marijuana and nothing could be further from the truth.
The senior wisdom of Mayor Austin and Councilman Gerald Roberts bear witness of their respect for the will of the people. Forcing it on the people is disrespectful and unethical when they are well aware of the potential damage that retail marijuana can bring to our community. The revenue is not worth the cost to our children. Lots of solid data proves why the people said no by not signing the spring petition. Why are councilmen Nathan Clay, Kevin Carlson and Chris Ryan disregarding it? I would have thought that being a councilman required integrity and a conscience. It's assuring to know that our mayor and Councilman Roberts display those traits. I admit though, I am embarrassed as I was a big advocate to elect Kevin Carlson. It now appears that we have elected problems rather than solutions.
Like I said, something stinks. Vote no to ballot questions 2E, 2F, 2G and 2H in November.