Greenfield pot bill fails again

By Angela Shepherd - The Times-Gazette - AIM Media Midwest News Network

GREENFIELD — Legislation that previously failed to pass the Greenfield Village Council as an emergency has failed again after its third reading at Wednesday’s regular council meeting.

According to the ordinance, by passing the legislation the village would prohibit any Ohio-licensed medical marijuana cultivators, processors and retail dispensaries “from locating and/or doing business within the village of Greenfield…”

Last month the legislation came before council to be passed as an emergency, which would have required council members to suspend the rules for three readings, but it never made it that far with vote to suspend the rules failing.

With Wednesday’s third reading, council members Betty Jackman and Bob Bergstrom voted yes, with council members Brenda Losey, Chris Borreson and Mark Clyburn all voting no.

While there was no discussion about the legislation Wednesday, but Bergstrom, in previous discussion last month, said the legislation would give the village control over the matter.

Greenfield Law Director Brian Zets said at the meeting that council could change the ordinance in the future. But Losey said Greenfield could also have control by setting up its own licensing requirements. It is something that other municipalities have done, Zets said at the time.

It is unclear what, if any, action the village will take in the future. Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been in effect since September, following the signing of HB 523 earlier this year by Gov. John Kasich.

In other business, both Jackman and Losey bid farewell to their council service as it was the last regular meeting for each. Both women expressed their gratitude for being able to serve Greenfield as council members. And each one was thanked by the remaining members for their years of public service.

In January, Phil Clyburn and Eric Borsini will begin their council service.

City manager Ron Coffey thanked council members for allowing him to serve as city manager and thanked each of them for their “many hours of work and … caring and concern for Greenfield.” Coffey is retiring at the end of March.

A new full-time patrolman was approved by council. Michael Fryer started with the Greenfield Police Department in June as a part-time officer, Coffey reported. Fryer’s hire as a full-time patrolman comes after the resignation of patrolman Alex Rosado, who left the GPD “for a similar position in another community,” Coffey said.

Statistics from the Greenfield Police Department report for November (year-to-date numbers are in parentheses) include: 371 (4,945) calls received, 33 (367) offenses investigated, 72 (1,022) arrests made, and 25 (269) prisoners housed in the jail.

In other council matters, several people were appointed to various civic boards and commissions for the new year, and Coffey reported that Greenfield has been named a Tree City USA for a fourth year.

Greenfield Village Council will hold an organizational meeting in early January where the regular session meeting schedule will be set for 2018. The meetings take place in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building.

By Angela Shepherd

The Times-Gazette

AIM Media Midwest News Network