Dunes City addresses cannabis issue

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Council members voice concerns, disappointment on inability to stop growers

The April 13 Dunes City Council meeting had full attendance for the first time this year, as Mayor Rebecca Ruede returned from an extended absence due to health concerns.

Ruede gaveled the meeting to order at 7 p.m. and welcomed the audience to the meeting. 

The highlight of the first part of the meeting was the reading into the record a proclamation from the mayor designating May as Health and Fitness Awareness month in Dunes City.  This coincides with the fourth annual Dunes City Triathlon, scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 13.

The council had a number of housekeeping items on their agenda.

One of these items was the decision by the council to authorize the added expenditure by the city to start live-streaming the council’s meetings. This means the meetings will be available for viewers to watch on TV and via computer.

The council also approved the expenditure of $500 to Darling’s Marina to support  its first Independence Day firework show. The event will be professionally staged and the cost is estimated to be $5,000.   

One agenda item drew councilors’ particular attention as the evening progressed — the pending resolution to prohibit the cultivation, for sale to distributors, of cannabis within the boundaries of Dunes City.

There was public testimony on both sides of the issue.

After hearing the public statements, the council retired to executive session to decide the matter.

At the close of the lengthy executive session, Dunes City Council emerged and chose not to adopt the resolution to prohibit the cultivation of cannabis.

The councilors then proceeded to make short statements reiterating their disappointment at the city’s inability to prevent the cultivation efforts.

Councilor Robert Orr said, “I think there are serious concerns with the growing of marijuana in our city. But we have been advised by counsel that we do not have the authority to say no to the applicants that have applied at this point. But I do feel there are many issues that we do need to explore.”

Councilor Tom Mallen  agreed and said, “I am not happy about having this shoved down our throats, legally, and I am pretty disappointed by this whole thing.”

These sentiments were echoed by other councilors, although Ruede emphasized the need to move forward positively, working with neighbors to insure good communication.

She also encouraged all involved to try to understand that state law allows for this enterprise.

The council then heard reports from staff, accepted them, and the meeting was adjourned.