Cannabis discussion, vote delayed to December meeting
The Benicia City Council voted to accept the employment agreement between the city of Benicia and City Attorney Heather McLaughlin at its Tuesday meeting.
In 2010 and 2011, the city manager and city attorney accepted 10 percent reductions in their salaries based on the barging negotiations that were to help with the city’s budget. Fellow city employees also took part in this reduction. The agenda proposed aimed to amend the employment agreement between the city of Benicia and McLaughlin, as well as discontinue Employer Paid Member Contributions (EPMC) into the California Public Retirement System for the city attorney. Staff recommended the council adopt the resolution and approve the agreement with McLaughlin and adopt the resolution discontinuing the EPMC.
When staff opened the discussion up for public comment, nobody came to the lectern. The agenda item itself would pass unanimously.
On the consent calendar at the council meeting were the following items:
* Denial of the claim against the city by Beatriz Monzon and referral to insurance carrier
* Denial of the claim against the city by Colby Kumara for benefit of Mackenzie Everett and referral to insurance carrier.
* Support of the nomination of the Benicia City Cemetery to the California State Register of Historical Resources and the National Register of Historic Places
* Approval of an amendment and task orders with cannon for water and wastewater services
* Adoption of resolution discontinuing the Employer Paid Member Contributions to the city manager and senior managers
* Approval to waive the reading of all ordinances introduced or adopted pursuant to the agenda
The council would unanimously approve all of the items on the consent calendar.
The council was scheduled to have a discussion and first reading of the proposed cannabis ordinance, but an announcement came early Tuesday afternoon stating that the council would have to postpone the first reading to the Dec. 5 meeting. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in Sacramento received numerous messages stating that three individuals on the City Council– Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and councilmembers Tom Campbell and Alan Schwartzman– may have a conflict of interest with the ordinance, due to them either living or owning businesses in or near the proposed areas where cannabis dispensaries are being considered. The FPPC will determine the level of conflict of interest among the three members and determine which of them can vote on the ordinance. Nonetheless, members of the public still spoke their minds on the ordinance, and the comments will be used for the decision-making for the Dec. 5 meeting.
The City Council will meet next on Nov. 21.