I have my own feeling on the subject (of medical marijuana dispensaries), but as an elected representative of the people there are times that I need to pay special attention to what is being said by my constituents.
The number of (petition) signatures collected was significant. I've heard the arguments against “paid” signature gatherers, but the fact that the numbers were met cannot be denied. Too many times elected officials refuse to listen to what is being said to them by their constituent’s actions. Clearly there is something being said here, and agree or disagree I am obliged to listen.
At the very least, the voters of our city have said they want to have a say on the subject. The yes or no of the issue doesn't concern me as much as what any additional costs and impacts would be if the answer is yes. Best case is that one way or the other the costs and impacts to the city would be negligible, but we don't know that at this point. The study that the City Council ordered should give us an idea.
In addition to cost, there were several issues that concerned me. As much as we complain about California's environmental review process it does have its merit. It requires a review and vetting process that is generally good for a community. Cumbersome as it is sometimes, the process does bring out issues not always obvious to the professionals. Additionally, a potential of 10 facilities certainly jumped out at me and this is something that needs to be looked at.
My goal as we move through this process is to have something that has minimal impacts on the community no mater which side prevails. A no vote is pretty simple. But if the yes vote prevails, then I would prefer that it be a yes that we can live with. Again the study the council ordered should give us an idea.
I've always said the issues surrounding a subject are not always black and white. Sometimes, what is good for the greater community is some shade of gray.
Whatever the eventual outcome in this ballot initiative, I will be working for the greater good of Lemon Grove even if it's a shade of gray.
Councilman Jerry Jones