Pubdate: Thu, 09 Feb 2012
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Record Searchlight
Author: Joe Szydlowski


City Moves to Comply With Federal Law

The city of Shasta Lake has moved ahead with its new medical 
marijuana proposal, which would bring it into compliance with federal 
laws, officials said.

"We're removing six pages from our code," Councilman Greg Watkins 
said. "If there's any opposition, they need to come forward, give 
people one more chance to see something we missed."

The medical marijuana proposal, which would limit city officials' 
oversight to setting restrictions on the city's two dispensaries, 
will be finalized at the next meeting, Watkins said.

By removing the permit process, city employees wouldn't be approving 
of the operation and thus wouldn't be breaking federal law, said John 
Kenny, the city attorney.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the council also appointed two members 
to a medical marijuana committee, modified its check register policy 
after complaints from tea party members, and decided to hold off on 
changes to residents' access to the agenda.

The medical marijuana committee, under the planning commission, would 
handle complaints and suggest regulations specific to medical 
marijuana, Watkins said. He said council members Larry Farr and Rod 
Lindsay will serve on the new body.

The council also changed who signs off on the weekly check registers 
to ensure that the checks have been paid appropriately, Kenny said.

That came about after a meeting with Tim Pappas, who had accused the 
council of violating the Brown Act by having two members of the 
finance committee sign off on the checks.

He argued that was an open meeting and it wasn't being handled as such.

Kenny said the council voted to modify the policy, having the mayor 
appoint two council members check the register.

The council also decided to table a change that Kenny proposed, 
Watkins said. It would have altered the municipal code to require 
someone to ask the council for permission to place something on the 
agenda for a later meeting. The council would also describe the 
supporting documents expected at the meeting.

Kenny said that the current system, in which any resident can place 
something on the agenda for the next meeting, is open to abuse, as 
people could flood the agenda with pointless items or subjects the 
council couldn't address, such as resolutions about international 
events. He said that hasn't been a problem yet, and the city clerk is 
supposed to ensure the items have the appropriate supporting documents.

Watkins said he agreed to table it after audience comments convinced 
him that the current system addresses the problem.

"The existing code was strong enough if we just properly applied it," 
Watkins said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom