Sonoma County Democratic Party Resolution Supports Revote on Cannabis Measure

Hello SVCG members,

The Sonoma County Democratic Party deserves applause for its resolution calling on the Sonoma city council to “reconsider their decision to block the citizen petition, and instead place the matter on the Novermber 2018 ballot…”. See Index-Tribune writer Christian Kellen’s great article on this here.

The resolution was in response to the council’s decision to bypass putting the cannabis measure on the November 2018 ballot. It opted, instead, to spend $25,000 of the city’s money on a report that won’t be issued for 30 days, thereby missing the County’s deadline for placing a measure on the ballot. The next opportunity to vote on the initiative won’t be until November 2020.

We feel the city council’s best option was to approve putting the ill-conceived proposition on this November’s ballot, but field its own competing measure submitted by Councilwoman Rachael Hundley. That measure would allow the city to retain more control over the scope and types of cannabis businesses in the city.

The majority of the council has abjectly failed to understand this issue and the mood of its citizens. This failure will lead our 250 members, and members of the other groups to which we are allied, to focus on helping elect new council members who will enact a reasonable, comprehensive ordinance that best serves the residents of Sonoma.

RESOLUTION TO SONOMA CITY COUNCIL

WHEREAS the California Democratic Party’s 2018 Platform holds that “California Democrats believe that a healthy democracy is based on free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate. We oppose the culture of cronyism and corruption … We demand transparency and accountability from both our party and government;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote honest leadership and open government, California Democrats will actively work for an educated citizenry, equal opportunity for influence, honest public debate, competitive elections, and robust civic participation in order to enhance the democratic process;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote safe communities for all, California Democrats will support the ongoing legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol, while prioritizing the health, education, and safety of California’s communities and the country over revenue or profits;” and

WHEREAS the Sonoma County Democratic Party, as a charter member of the California Democratic Party, has adopted and is called upon to support the Platform; and

WHEREAS over 60% of the City of Sonoma’s voters supported Proposition 64 to legalize adult use of cannabis in 2016, and 767 electors of the City of Sonoma have validly petitioned the City of Sonoma to amend its municipal code to allow for cannabis dispensaries; and

WHEREAS Sonoma’s City Council, on a 3-2 vote, chose to expend community resources on a pretextual 30-day “study,” with the clear objective of denying the validly qualified cannabis dispensary petition a place on the November 2018 ballot, in an effort to delay a vote until November of 2020; and

WHEREAS citizen petitions such as the one at issue in Sonoma present an equal opportunity for influence and promote honest public debate through competitive elections, and such petitions are evidence of and further encourage robust civic participation that enhances the democratic process,

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party calls on the Sonoma City Council, including the past-endorsed members Madolyn Agrimonti and David Cook, to reconsider their decision to block the citizen petition, and instead place the matter on the November 2018 ballot, in the interest of promoting free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate, and to publicly take a clear stand in favor of transparency and accountability, and against corruption and cronyism.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on July 29, 2018.

Gil Latimer

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

Sonoma County Democrats pass resolution urging revote on Sonoma’s cannabis petition

Sonoma Index-Tribune: Christian Kallen

The City Council’s July 23 decision to study the Sonoma Citizens for Local Access initiative, causing a 30-day delay that virtually guarantees the measure won’t go before voters for at least a year and a half, created disappointment among those who hoped to see the measure on the November ballot.
But the reaction didn’t end with mere disappointment, spiraling instead into broader political tensions.
Shortly after the vote, on July 29, the Sonoma County Democratic Party passed an unusual resolution calling to task the City Council – and two councilmembers in particular – urging them to reconsider their vote “in the interest of promoting free and fair elections… and to publicly take a clear stand in favor of transparency and accountability, and against corruption and cronyism.”… Read More…

RESOLUTION TO SONOMA CITY COUNCIL from Sonoma County Dems

RESOLUTION TO SONOMA CITY COUNCIL

WHEREAS the California Democratic Party’s 2018 Platform holds that “California Democrats believe that a healthy democracy is based on free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate. We oppose the culture of cronyism and corruption … We demand transparency and accountability from both our party and government;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote honest leadership and open government, California Democrats will actively work for an educated citizenry, equal opportunity for influence, honest public debate, competitive elections, and robust civic participation in order to enhance the democratic process;” and

WHEREAS the Platform further holds that “to promote safe communities for all, California Democrats will support the ongoing legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol, while prioritizing the health, education, and safety of California’s communities and the country over revenue or profits;” and

WHEREAS the Sonoma County Democratic Party, as a charter member of the California Democratic Party, has adopted and is called upon to support the Platform; and

WHEREAS over 60% of the City of Sonoma’s voters supported Proposition 64 to legalize adult use of cannabis in 2016, and 767 electors of the City of Sonoma have validly petitioned the City of Sonoma to amend its municipal code to allow for cannabis dispensaries; and

WHEREAS Sonoma’s City Council, on a 3-2 vote, chose to expend community resources on a pretextual 30-day “study,” with the clear objective of denying the validly qualified cannabis dispensary petition a place on the November 2018 ballot, in an effort to delay a vote until November of 2020; and

WHEREAS citizen petitions such as the one at issue in Sonoma present an equal opportunity for influence and promote honest public debate through competitive elections, and such petitions are evidence of and further encourage robust civic participation that enhances the democratic process,

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party calls on the Sonoma City Council, including the past-endorsed members Madolyn Agrimonti and David Cook, to reconsider their decision to block the citizen petition, and instead place the matter on the November 2018 ballot, in the interest of promoting free and fair elections, with all eligible voters able to participate, and to publicly take a clear stand in favor of transparency and accountability, and against corruption and cronyism.

Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on July 29, 2018.

Video of July 23 City Council meeting

For those interested, the July 23 city council meeting can be seen here.

Timeline:

56:00 – Start
57:00 – City Attorney Explanation
1:11 – Public Comment
1:39- City Attorney answers questions
1:46 – 2:11 Council members’ Comments
2:17 – END

We *must* thank Councilwoman Rachel E Hundley and Mayor Pro Tem Amy Harrington for supporting the idea of putting a competing measure on the ballot that would have give the city more control over a number of aspects of cannabis businesses.

Councilwoman Rachel Hundley worked very hard to fashion a competing ordinance that would have been a much better fit for the city of Sonoma.

Amy Harrington made a wonderful comment/suggestion (2:11:00) that before spending $25,000 on another study, she would rather buy every single child who cannot afford school supplies whatever they need until the 25,000 runs out before she’d spend a penny on any further study.

Statement added to IT Comment section of article in previous post.

At the council meeting on Monday, July 23, Jon Early’s petition to place a cannabis ballot measure petition on the November was postponed to November of 2020. The council decided to order a 30-day, $25,000 study on the proposed ordinance. The delivery of this study wouldn’t be until after the Aug. 10 deadline for placing the measure on the November 2018 general election ballot. Once again, the city council has moved to thwart the will of the people. The following is a comment I made to the Comments section of the IT article mentioned in out previous post.

That the city council would choose option 3 was a very easy call. Jon Early has no sense of this town and who the city council really is. Nor did the attorney who represented him, nor those who supported that measure. Why in heaven’s name did they think that the city council would swallow an ordinance that opened Sonoma up to all manner of cannabis businesses without allowing it any real control? And the irony is, Mr. Early’s measure never included a clause for personal outdoor cultivation because he thought *that* might be a deal-breaker. Let us remind that the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group (not to be confused with the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts) played an instrumental role in the city’s decision to permit personal outdoor growing.

Councilwoman Rachel Hundley made great effort to fashion a competing ordinance that would have been a much better fit for the city of Sonoma. The majority of the council should have taken her up on it, but instead continued to cling to each other in their backward-thinking certainties. Let’s be clear. The three council members can’t keep running for cover because there is very little of it left. The more they dig in their heels, the shakier the ground becomes.

The Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group has worked tirelessly over the past year to convince the city council of the need for a local medicinal dispensary, to no avail. We will now turn our focus to helping elect new council members who will actually understand the issue and enact Councilwoman Hundley’s ordinance.

Gil Latimer

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

Sonoma City Council refuses to allow a November 2018 vote on permitting dispensary

This by way of the Sonoma Index-Tribune:

(photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

CHRISTIAN KALLEN

INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER | July 26, 2018, 2:06PM

When faced with two clear paths – to approve a validated petition to legalize cannabis businesses in Sonoma, or put the measure up for a vote in November – the City Council chose the third.

At the council meeting on Monday, July 23, the cannabis petition was the major agenda item that drew a sizeable audience to the Council Chambers. Following a series of options outlined by city attorney Jeff Walter, and bypassing the choice of either approving the petition as city ordnance or putting it on the ballot for voters to decide, the council instead opted to order a 30-day, $25,000 study on the proposed ordinance, a study that would be delivered well beyond the Aug. 10 deadline for placing the measure on the November 2018 general election ballot.

The next firm opportunity for a public vote, according to Walter, would be in 2020, as there are no statewide elections scheduled in 2019…Read More

Reportedly, Jon Early was “gobsmacked” over the decision. That Mr. Early, the petitioner of the ill-conceived ballot measure, believes he was blind-sided shows he has little clue of the makeup of the city council and what makes it tick. More on that in the next post…

Gary Edwards, David Cook and Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti have always voted against any notion of a dispensary within the city limits of Sonoma. There was no good reasoning that would suggest any of the three would swing the other way. Meanwhile, Rachel Hundley and Amy Harrington continued to support permitting a dispensary, but were the minority.

Let’s remember there are three city council seats open for the coming November election. The results can open the door to an ordinance better tailored to the needs of Sonoma.