Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Mary Jane", Fairview Park And Candidate Decisions Ahead

Next week - the first full week of August - should be memorable in the City of Costa Mesa.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, will be the only City Council meeting of the month.  The council decided to go dark on the 19th, so whatever work that needs to be done between July 15th and the Labor Day holiday will get done next Tuesday.

From the rumblings I hear, it is very likely that Councilman Gary Monahan will present a Medical Marijuana item that he will ask the council to place before the voters in November.  Apparently he and contract City Attorney Tom Duarte have been working on this document in stealth mode and - we hear - have been consulting with folks who have been in the Medical Marijuana business in the city in the past.

We understand there's a draft of this document floating around, but we've not seen it.  It is our understanding that it will appear on the staff report for the council meeting, which will likely be distributed for public consumption (so to speak) by Thursday.

It is my understanding that this move - which Councilwoman Wendy Leece divulged at a recent meeting - may be a preemptive strike, to head off two competing initiatives that are collecting signatures around town and create a management structure for the administration of ANY Medical Marijuana dispensaries in the city, should any be permitted in the future.  I've also heard that it might actually create the authorization for a specific small number of dispensaries.  I've also heard that it might impose a significant sales tax on the products sold at those places.

Recently Mayor Jim Righeimer stated flat out that he thought Medical Marijuana should be dispensed at Rite Aid and Walgreens.  One presumes he meant that he didn't want a bunch of pot shops operating in the city.  I guess we'll see.  It's an interesting conundrum for him, in a year when he's up for re-election and looks to have a tough campaign season ahead of him.

And, one has to wonder just what prompted Monahan to sponsor and author this thing.  His long history in office has shown us that, more often than not, there's something in this for him.  Some will recall that he hosted a rally for Medical Marijuana advocates at his pub early in 2012.  I wrote about it at the time HERE,  and the aftermath HERE, HERE and HERE.

So, it will be very interesting next Tuesday to see if 1) this item is on the agenda; 2) who on the council will support it; 3) what the arguments will be for this issue and 4) if this council approve the issue to be placed on the ballot.

IF three members of the council agree to place it on the ballot, the timing gets to be a little dicey.  There will be resolutions to be approved and submitted to the Registrar of Voters by Friday of next week.  There will also need to be an impartial analysis of the item - probably done by the co-author of the document, Tom Duarte.  It makes you wonder just how "impartial" that analysis will be, doesn't it?   There will need to be arguments for and against the proposal AND rebuttals to each.  Who will write those?  City Clerk Brenda Green tells me that council members are first in the pecking order on either side of the issue.  Then come organizations and, finally, individuals.

And we don't even know what else there might be on that agenda.  I do know one thing - that's my wedding anniversary and I will NOT be in the auditorium, nor will I be watching it on streaming video or television.  My sweet and very patient wife deserves at least one council meeting night during the year when she has my undivided attention, so I'm going to whisk her off to some exotic place for a nice, romantic dinner to celebrate 47 years of wedded bliss.  I'm a lucky guy...

On Wednesday the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Richard Mehren and recently-announced School Board candidate Steve Smith, meets at 6:00 at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue (Lions Park) for the first meeting at which the final remaining quadrant - the Southeast Quadrant - will be discussed.  It's likely that it will take at least two meetings to plow through the 22 items under discussion.   
AND, it's very likely that members of the public who read the recent letter from the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding the city's stewardship of Fairview Park will present themselves to the committee during Public Comments to register their views.  It has been suggested to me that it may be wise to just place the committee on hiatus until the issue of the City's response to the letter is resolved.  It's gonna be fun!

And, finally, Friday, August 8, 2014, is the drop dead date for candidates for City Council.  Yep, 5:00 p.m. is the last opportunity candidates for the two open positions will have to officially confirm their candidacy.  Those who have NOT done so by that hour will NOT be on the ballot in November.  And - perhaps as important - for those who have already completed the process, but decide later they choose not to run and wait until 5:01 p.m on that date, it will be too late to withdraw.  We learned the impact of that painful lesson last time around when James Rader changed his mind one day too late.  He didn't campaign one second, yet received 2,449 votes and probably shared the responsibility with One-Note-Samba Al Melone for John Stephens not getting those 155 votes he needed to defeat Monahan.  Melone says he's running again.  Too bad...

It's going to be a very interesting week in Costa Mesa, for sure!

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Anonymous Honeyman said...

Daily Pilot---December 12, 2014----Skosh Maryjanes Opens For Business!

Council member Gary Monahan turned the key to his latest establishment, located directly across from his pub today. He’s now selling medical marijuana in the building that used to house Growers Ranch, the longtime Costa Mesa fruit and vegetable market. The Ranch was forced to vacate after a bitter eminent domain fight, won by a 3-2 majority vote of the City Council. Monahan said that his experience in the tavern business would serve him well in his new venture. He doesn’t plan on holding happy hours per se, but hinted about daily specials such as Mensy Mondays and Fitzy Fridays. “People need to get messed up”, the diminutive entrepreneur stated. “Whether it’s a shot of whiskey and a pint there, or a ¼ ounce of boo here, it’s all profit for me!” he gushed.

Outgoing mayor Jim Righeimer, who finished a distant fifth in the recent November election, called this “the sparking of a new day” for Costa Mesa. “Now, citizens of this city can buy something that is grown out of the ground that is worthwhile…..and doesn’t taste icky like kale”. Righeimer also mentioned that he wouldn't be frequenting the new business very often now that he has sold his Costa Mesa home and will be moving to La Habra where he is “seriously contemplating” another run for political office.

7/30/2014 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Monahan probably wants to sell weed in addition to booze. But in typical ocgop fashion we're sure he would open up that opportunity for all citizens and not try to get a monopoly for himself.

7/30/2014 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous xyn bohemia said...

oh bless you mr. honeyman!
"people need to get messed up" and "it doesn't taste icky like kale"!! love it--- best laugh i've had in awhile--- i do hope some of these predictions come true... not so much the pot ones.... but, well you know which one's i'm talkin' about....

7/30/2014 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I don't know, but it sure seems suspicious to me that Gary comes in with red eyes quite a bit of the time, never utters a word through the meetings, and when he does, its just laughable.

Is it possible that he's already sampling the wares he may want to sell?

He really thought he could push this through quietly without anyone noticing? He's a joke.

7/31/2014 06:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

I actually think Monahan is pushing this for someone else. Either that or someone else is backing him. It takes money to open a dispensary. I believe its the same guy that owned the one on 19th Street that was allowed to operate when all the others were ordered to shut down.

8/02/2014 09:40:00 AM  

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