Wednesday, October 24, 2018

• Special City Council Meeting October 2018

The meeting lasted all of 38 minutes. It was opened with a moment of silence for the passing of Tim Walker's father.

Public comments on non agenda items
Gina Castanon spoke about there still not being live streaming (the camera that was there in September wasn't there to record the meeting either). She also spoke about Measure AA and that "it should have been done (added to the ballot) without the study" that the council paid for earlier in the year. 

Wildomar Rap opinion time

I agree with the basic sentiment. The council knew that they wanted to put the sales tax increase mesure on the ballot; spending many thousands of dollars on a limited study isn't what they are elected to do. 

If I had been on the council, I wouldn't have gone along with the study unless it was part of a multipronged fact finding expedition that included at least one well publicized town hall meeting. 

From what I've heard from the city council members of Menifee and Temecula, when they put their sales tax measures on the ballot it was after a great deal of public input, not just one survey.
Item 2.1 Prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Facilities and Regulating Cannabis Cultivation (video starts at the 6:00 mark)
There was a brief staff report followed by public comments.
• Gina Castanon discussed that becoming a city was for local control on issues like this, that the tax advantages of commercial cannabis would increase the revenues the city needs, and that a prohibition just perpetuates the black market.
• David Masters asked for clarification on the ordinance when it comes to private parties growing on their own property. 
Regulation of Cannabis Cultivation

No person or entity may cultivate cannabis at any location in the City, except that a person may cultivate no more than six living cannabis plants inside his or her private residence, or inside an accessory structure to his or her private residence located upon the grounds of that private residence that is fully enclosed and secured against unauthorized entry, provided that the owner of the property provides written consent expressly allowing the cannabis cultivation to occur.
• Greg Langworthy lauded the council for keeping commercial uses of cannabis prohibited.

After the public comments, Mayor Ben Benoit asked Planning Director Matt Bassi to clarify what the city could face if no ordinance was in place. After Mr. Bassi's comments, the city attorney Tom Jex expanded on the Mayor's questions.

All four council members in attendance weighed in on the topic. I suggest that you watch the entire video on this subject. 

Councilmember Dustin Nigg

Am I disheartened? Maybe slightly. I'm in favor of this (creating an ordinance allowing commercial cannabis in Wildomar) my district is in favor of it. But it's what's smart (the permanent ban) and [...] either December rolls around and we have nothing in place [...] which gives us no basis in court to defend ourselves, or we do this and keep pushing forward with the end state of doing something that I think is responsible. 
Councilmember Bridgette Moore

We attended the League of California Cities in September and there was a class on cannabis nine months out, it's been nine months since it's been legal in the State of California. The city of LA has over 100 permitted cannabis shops and they still have a black market. So whether we have it here in Wildomar or not have it here in Wildomar there will still be a black market. If the city of LA still has a black market, and they have over 100 [legal shops], then Wildomar will still have a black market [if we were to make commercial cannabis legal]. 
Councilmember Tim Walker

I'm against this, I'm for this ban of course. The thing I keep coming back to is the federal government is in the middle of this right now. They're actually discussing legalizing it and dropping it down from a class one to a normal everyday thing. If they do that it's going to change the whole rule anyway. I'm a law abiding citizen and I'm going to follow the rules of the land and the land right now says it's not legal so therefore I won't vote for it [to be legal in Wildomar]. [...] Sometime it's going to be legal, and I already know that. That'll be up to the federal government to figure it out, and when they figure it out then they can send all the information down to all of us and we can follow the rules that they set. [...] [When] they make it legal across the country, then I'll be ok with it. 
Mayor Ben Benoit

At this point I think it's time we go ahead and move forward, we need to bring something forward at some point and talk about it and have an honest discussion about it. I'm leaning with Dustin that it's something we need to move forward on.
Mayor Benoit asked to direct staff to look into the new ordinance (Ordinance No. 348.4898) adopted by the county and bring back findings to the council to see if they do want to move forward on a similar ordinance for Wildomar.

At this point Tim Walker and Bridgette Moore showed they weren't on board with the idea. In the end, it wasn't something that needed a vote, so staff will be looking into it as asked.
Wildomar Rap opinion time

Like Tim said, he knows it's only a matter of time until cannabis is legal throughout the nation. 

When it comes to the black market, such a thing only exists (for any commodity) when there is a ban. Or, if there are such onerous restrictions in place that it's worth the risk to circumvent the laws, by both the supply side and the consumption side. 

I watched the very long Riverside County Supervisors meeting on this issue yesterday. They have such huge restrictions in place that those that are currently growing illegally have little to no incentive to comply with the new rules proposed.

If getting rid of the black market was their aim, and all the seamy underbelly that comes with such illegal enterprises, then keeping a stranglehold on such a thing is sure to backfire.
3.1 Community Choice Aggregation Program and First Amendment to the Western Community Energy Joint Powers Agreement 
This was a relatively short item. It's purported to save rate payers up to 2% on their electric bills if they opt in. If this item interests you, please use this link to jump to the 33 minute mark of the video with this link.

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Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wildomar Rap has a manly heart.

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