Medford City Council Study Session
June 26, 2014
The meeting was called to order at noon in the Medford Room, City Hall, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford with the following members present.
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers John Michaels, Daniel Bunn, Eli Matthews, Tim Jackle, Chris Corcoran, Bob Strosser, and Dick Gordon.
1. Control of Dangerous Dogs: Police Chief Tim George and Deputy Chief Brett Johnson addressed the Council and presented the background on this issue. Chief George noted that there has been a lot of input and work put into bringing this recommendation forward. He reviewed the history of the meetings that have been held and input received from local and out of state concerned individuals. Based on the information received, the general consensus is that the "deed" needs to be the issue, not the "breed". The Police Advisory Committee held a public hearing and has reviewed the information submitted.
Chief George noted that the Police Department has developed a Public Service Announcement to educate the public regarding leash laws in effect. Officers will be enforcing and distributing leases when enforcing if individuals do not have one.
The main issue is with animals that run at large and are not controlled. This is not allowed except in the designated dog park. Staff has worked with the Police Advisory Committee to developed code amendments that will support enforcement of "deed' issues.
Chief George reviewed the code amendments proposed in the ordinance. Deputy City Attorney Kevin McConnell spoke to the definitions in the proposed code amendment.
Councilmembers discussed the proposed code amendment and thanked the Police Advisory Committee for their work on this issue. Council recommended that the code amendment be brought forward.
2. Medical Marijuana Education: City Attorney John Huttl addressed the Council and provided an overview of issues with "legal" marijuana. He was requested to bring this item forward to assist the Council in understanding the complexes of the issue as it pertains to Federal and State laws. Marijuana is federally illegal. However the State has adopted laws making use of "medical marijuana".
He noted there were three areas of presentation today: City efforts regarding dispensaries; state law dispensary rule making public hearing/comments; and pending legislation. He spoke to the legal efforts by cities against dispensaries including Medford, Phoenix and Cave Junction. He reviewed the legal cases in Medford - Mary Janes Attic/Basement and The Lounge. He reviewed the State rulemaking meetings regarding the "facilities" rule.
Mr. Huttl reviewed the ongoing legislative efforts and highlighted Initiative Petition 53 which is proposed to legalize personal and commercial production and use of marijuana.
Councilmembers discussed the issues and Councilmember Gordon questioned if the Council needs to establish a tax on sales of marijuana to ensure that if and when it becomes legal under Federal law, the City will be in a position to have that taxing ability grandfathered. He recommended the Council also look at odor issues if more citizens are allowed to grow marijuana on their own property.
Council requested staff look into the taxing issue as brought forward by Councilmember Gordon.
Meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.