Moffat County Commission mulls pulling pot ballot question
September 22, 2010
Also at the meeting
In other news, the Moffat County Commission also:
• Approved, 3-0, Aug. 24 and Sept. 9 meeting minutes.
• Approved, 3-0, transfer of payment of warrants for September totaling $569,809.53.
• Approved, 3-0, a letter requesting inspection fee waiver for The Memorial Hospital’s mammogram equipment.
• Approved, 3-0, Cedar Mountain communication site lease with the Bureau of Land Management.
• Approved, 3-0, renewing a casualty and property insurance with County Technical Services, Inc. for one year.
• Approved, 3-0, social services Aug. 24 meeting minutes.
• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition from the assessor’s office for a regular, full-time, senior appraiser.
• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition from the assessor’s office for a regular, full-time assessment services technician.
• Heard a presentation from State Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, about the state budget.
• Hosted a discussion with Todd Hagenbuch, Northwest Colorado regional representative for Sen. Michael Bennet’s office.
• Heard a monthly report from Marie Peer of the social services department.
The Moffat County Commission remained undecided Tuesday on whether to withdraw a question from November's ballot concerning the future of medical marijuana dispensaries in the county.
At its regular Tuesday meeting, the commission discussed the option of withdrawing the question it set on the ballot in July.
No official action was taken and as of now, the measure will appear before voters.
The question asks Moffat County voters if they want to prohibit dispensaries and other similar operations in unincorporated parts of the county.
The commission has until Oct. 3 to decide if it will pull the measure from the ballot, but Mathers and commissioner Tom Gray said they would prefer it remain intact.
"It took me a while to arrive at this, but I am failing to see the downside in this community of letting the … voters decide," Gray said.
Moffat County elections supervisor Stephanie Beckett said the ballots containing the question are being printed and would appear on the ballot regardless of the commission's decision. If the commission decided to pull the measure, Beckett said, resident votes on the matter would not be counted.
Gray said several other counties in the state have decided to place similar questions on the November ballot, while a smaller portion have decided to ban or regulate dispensaries.
"So, it's all over the place," he said.
In June, the commission extended its moratorium on dispensaries in unincorporated parts of the county for six months.
At the time, the commission said it extended the moratorium to wait and see what rules and regulations were developed from the passing of Colorado House Bill 10-1284.
County attorney Jeremy Snow discussed those developing reg-
ulations from the Colorado Department of Revenue and how the county should proceed with the ballot measure.
Snow said many counties have "hopped on the moratoriums" until dispensary regulations are developed "to see how this all shakes out."
"I don't think it is even conceivable that they'll have a rule on the ground before January," Snow said. "It would probably be much later than that. It would probably be closer to early spring or even early summer before the regulations are out."
The commission would have to vote on whether to pull the measure from the ballot at its next meeting — something commissioner Audrey Danner said she would consider.
"We are not seeing a response from the state," she said. "I thought that we would have more information from the state about this topic, and we don't."
Danner said she has heard concerns from residents as to why the commission hadn't made a decision about the issue.
Gray said by pulling the measure, the commission might be sending the wrong message to the community.
"We are sending the message that we don't want you to make the decision, we want to make the decision," he said.
"By doing that we are assuming we are making the right decisions for the community," he said of pulling the ballot measure.