Terry Jensen's Common Sense / Perspective Council Majority Either Didn't Know, Or Knew But Didn't Disclose, Amount Of Taxpayer Dollars Potentially Up In Smoke On Med MJ Vote (Jensen Common Sense #4 In Continuing Series)
Council Majority Either Didn't Know, Or Knew But Didn't Disclose, Amount Of Taxpayer Dollars Potentially Up In Smoke On Med MJ Vote (Jensen Common Sense #4 In Continuing Series)
(November 19, 2010) -- At Tuesday's (Nov. 16) City Council meeting, our City Council without the Mayor's dissent or veto voted 7-2 (O'Donnell, Johnson dissenting) to rewrite an ordinance regulating medical marijuana collectives that the Council painfully established in March.
Now one can argue about the reasonableness of the rules and regulations and whether or where dispensaries should be located but that isn't what troubles me about what the Council did and the Mayor didn't do.
What troubles me is that the Council majority approved a new set of rules despite a threat from an attorney that lawsuits may be filed on behalf of several collectives yet a Council majority approved the action without a clear understanding or public disclosure of the potential fiscal impacts to the taxpayers' already shaky general fund.
It is true that prior to the open Council session, Councilmembers held a closed session with the City Attorney to discuss an unspecified threat of litigation [believed to reflect testimony from public speakers a week earlier on adding new restrictions to LB's marijuana collective ordinance] and a number of lawsuits that have already been filed by some colllectives [presumably raising earlier legal issues].
It's also true the Council-passed motion by Councilman Garcia modified or rejected some of the more restrictive measures proposed by Councilmembers Schipske, DeLong and O'Donnell and included some measures seemingly taken from a letter by Carl Kemp (a privately retained advocate for several collectives) who said his letter's proposed measures were cleared with his clients.
But in my view, what the Council majority did in its publicly voted action was irresponsible. It was irresponsible if Councilmembers knew the cost of the potential new litigation and didn't disclose it to taxpayers. It was likewise irresponsible if Councilmembers really didn't have a clue as to what the potential taxpayer cost will be and gave their voted approval to the action anyway.
This looks to me like another case in which a Council majority approved something without knowing all the facts necessary for an informed decision and if they did, without disclosing the facts to taxpayers who'll ultimately be paying the costs.
I just wished they could focus and get it right the first time.
Previously on LBReport.com: Common Sense by Terry Jensen (continuing series):
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