Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 7:11 pm | Fair 68º


From Our Inbox: Letters to the Editor for Week Ending April 6, 2018

To Lompoc Mayor Bob Lingl,

I applaud you and Councilwoman Jenelle Osborne for your vote Tuesday night against Item No. 11 (Further Discussion and Direction Whether Dance Studios Are to Be Considered Youth Centers for Buffer Zones Near Cannabis Uses).

I understand the difficult situation you have with the rest of the City Council.I am still shocked that this was voted against. I don’t understand how an industry can come into a city and not have a tax revenue from it yet bend over backward for the industry.

A few points I would like to make:

» Councilman Jim Mosby’s comment about higher security with cameras, guards, etc is bogus. Those businesses have cameras and security to protect their marijuana, not the business next door. If something minor happens outside the cannabis shop, no one is going to see it on video and voluntarily call the police to report something minor that happened. Also, nobody watches cameras live all day long to even make this an option that would prevent a crime that is actively happening from happening. The only time their cameras would be beneficial is if a crime has happened and police need to investigate by reviewing camera footage. So this Mosby argument about additional security is a fallacy.

» If there is no tax revenue coming in from this industry — and according to Councilman Victor Vega, the maps alone limit how many of these shops can open up — then why is this a big issue to not allow these shops to open up next to five dance studios? Why is there no tax revenue? Who does this benefit? Does it benefit Lompoc residents? Does it benefit the city? No, it only benefits the pot shops and maybe your own interests. I believe the council needs to vote on the number of pot shops allowed and set a hard number on this. Seems like the maps speaking for themselves is not good enough.

» Why can you not allow these shops next to five dance studios? We are talking about five businesses in Lompoc. Five dance studios are all that is at topic — five Lompoc business permitted, taxpaying businesses that have been in the community for a while, some more than 50 years. By voting dance studios as youth centers would only not allow the pot shops in five locations in the city. Big deal, is it really that big of a deal for pot shops to not be allowed in five locations throughout the city? Mosby and Councilman Dick Starbuck, why? Why would you do this? Who does it benefit? It does not benefit the dance school or residents. So the only conclusion would be it benefits the pot shop. Then the question is why do you care so much to benefit the pot shop and disregard the school and city residents?

» How is it even allowed for the council to vote on this back in March and then have Mosby change his mind and then it get re-voted on? I believe Mosby should give a better public comment on his reason for changing his mind, and it should also be opened up for public comment on his reasoning.

» Youth center definition. I ask you check out the definition of “youth center” on Wikpedia, Webster’s Dictionary, Google and. most important. the State of California on this issue. They all would define these dance studios as youth centers. So when this goes to litigation, the judge will look at definitions from the State of California, dictionaries, Wikpedia, etc. They all agree on what a youth center is. Your council majority — Mosby, Starbuck and Vega — define youth centers as something else based on hours and when open. This is a fallacy. You cannot define your own terms and definitions. This is relativism at the heart. A judge will not favor you on this.

» Changing the buffer to 400 feet from 600 feet from schools, churches, etc. — Councilman Vega, why? Why would you do this? Who does it benefit? It does not benefit the schools, churches or residents. So the only conclusion would be it benefits the pot shop. Then the question is why do you care so much to benefit the pot shop and disregard schools, churches and residents?

» How is it possible that your city attorney, your police chief, Councilwoman Osborne, five business owners, and a handful of parents and children advise you not to allow these shops next to the dance studios but yet you don’t see this advice outweighing the reason to allow the pot shop? What reason is there that you can put on the scale that outweighs the police chief, city attorney, and Councilwoman Osborne’s advice to not do this? Does your reason outweigh their advice? What is the reason that outweighs their advice?

» How do we open up a full audit and disclosure of all council members’ conflicts of interest on this topic? If they own property, or even have a remote second or third link to someone who owns property that would benefit from this, then they have a conflict of interest. How do we get the process rolling on this full audit and public comment on disclosure? The B6.6 section of City Council handbook discusses conflicts of interest.

» I ask that all of these questions be addressed, this email be printed for the next council meeting, and I would also like you to know this email will be distributed to journalists for their own consideration of publishing.

In God We Trust. I pray for wisdom, clarity and for light to shine upon anything dark among the council members.

Jimmy Wall

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