Pot and the city still under debate
OROVILLE – While there were no surprises in Mayor Chuck Spieth’s 2014 appointment of department heads, the city council’s first meeting of the new year, Tuesday, Jan. 7, was surprisingly short.
Spieth’s appointed, or rather reappointed: Mick Howe, city attorney, Rod Noel, city superintendent; Kathy Jones, city clerk-treasurer; Clay Warnstaff, police chief; Chris Branch, community development director; Christian Johnson, building inspector/permit administrator; Rod Noel, fire chief and Debra Donahue, ambulance coordinator. All were confirmed by the council
The mayor and council discussed a letter from the mayor of College Place, Wash., Rick Newby, regarding marijuana legalization. His city is currently has a moratorium on marijuana retail sales outlets and grows. It wasn’t quite clear, but it appears he is asking the city to become part of a coalition to help each other fight potential challenges to whatever individual city’s decide about how to handle the new law.
“I think it is rather well thought out,” said Councilman Walt Hart.
Oroville’s position has been that if a law is against federal law, even if it is legal it the state, it will not do anything to harm its position when applying for federal grant monies.
“It’s right in their in the contract… we must obey federal law,” said Mayor Spieth.
“Ultimately it says we have to comply with federal policy,” added Jones.
Councilman Ed Naillon said what bothered him about Mayor Newby’s letter was that it was speaking to a conflict before a conflict even exists.
“I’d hope that they would keep us in the loop, but don’t know what we would be committing to in this letter,” said Naillon.
That seemed to the city council’s general consensus, they’d like to work together, but would not commit to anything without more information of what is being asked of the city.
It was also announced that there had been an application for a retail marijuana store at 2020 Main Street.