[EDITOR'S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
by Earl Gipson
Hi there fellow SeaTacians. Been a while since we talked.
In Tuesday’s Council Meeting Recreational Marijuana PRODUCERS have requested that our City get a move’on in their applications to permit their businesses. They have already committed finances, leased space, and complied with state requirements.
The Council could not seem to wrap their heads around the issues (Did they try some recreational pot before the meeting?). Recreational marijuana is not regulated like medicinal marijuana and that was not the issue. The amount of Recreational Marijuana Retailers is limited to one for the City. That was not the issue either. The issue was that we have three Recreational Marijuana PRODUCERS (two of which have made application) and are not limited in quantity in the City but by square footage of each operation individually by the state. The issue was the producers have already leased space and need a zoning code change in that area since no such business has been mentioned in our code.
Meanwhile the three companies/applicants are hemorrhaging money while they wait for our Council to remove their heads from a warm place (we all know what I’m talking about). The Council decided they wanted a Work Group (ad hoc committee, whatever) made of Council members. Then they hemmed and hawed whether it should have 3 members or 4 with four being a quorum and qualifying as a Special Council Meeting versus a Work Group. Then they worried over whether the Feds change their mind, the state changes the law, blah, blah, blah. Who cares?! City employees/Council members are indemnified, the City is insured, and the legal/financial risks are TOTALLY on the producers. We stand to lose 2 million in City annual revenue from NEW legal businesses when we are running the ones we have out of town with mandatory wage and benefits garbage (Prop #1).
Speaking of revenue, in Council Meeting presentations, the representative from Somali Youth and Family Club thanked the City for their support and then stated that most refugees arrive in our area with an average of 8 children, most under 5 years old. Even Council Member Ladenburg was taken aback and questioned the number, which the speaker affirmed. Of course the group wanted more money from the City (who doesn’t?) and said they needed more Muslim housing. Huh? Is there a type just for one religious group? Didn’t know that. I’ve always appreciated a roof over my head whether it was one or two story. Anyway with that many needy mouths coming to our area we better get a move’on with getting some revenue (possibly some family planning too) into this City, Pot Producers or not.
By the way, the Council also approved a 5 day $300 per night hotel expense for the National League of Cities conference in Washington DC for Council Member Campbell. More than double anyone else. Oh well. It’s only our money.