Mayor Schroeder was back at it again last Wednesday night, figuring out how he can get two marijuana ordinances passed which will repeal our existing municipal prohibitions against the commercial sale, manufacturing and distribution of marijuana in Martinez.
He has been trying to do so since 2008. He is on the cusp of victory, but what a hollow victory.
In doing so, he is breaking up a budding romance between beautiful, historical downtown Martinez and those who love to go there. It has been a place of romance for over a century, but recently long denied its true nature due to a difficult war over redevelopment (which the Mayor got wrong, too!)
When that war ended in 2010 due to Governor Brown’s intervention after 50 years of nothing getting done in Martinez, we went back to romance, got ourselves a baseball team, an ice rink and lights up and down Main Street.
Visitors followed as did brewing companies and restaurants, all the habitudes of folks seeking wholesome fun in a historically beautiful setting.
Martinez was actually becoming a hot spot and a gathering place for millennials and other social groups.
Unfortunately, not quite understanding this romance and its idea of the common good, the Mayor and some other City Council members are chasing false dreams not for romance but for MONEY, as in taxes.
The Mayor even boasted how the city has already received $800.00 in sales tax revenue. (I’m not kidding!) He mentioned it twice.
So what does all this mean?
The Council will have to vote marijuana businesses in again at their next meeting which is scheduled for April 3, at 7 p.m. (The vote on March 20 was 3-2 with Debbie McKillop and Mark Ross doing the right thing, in my judgement, voting no.)
Even if you love marijuana, this regulatory scheme is too much. City staff have located 311 locations where a marijuana commercial business could be located.
A marijuana business could end up in any part of town except Main Street and Ferry Street which the ordinances would prohibit. That’s absurd! What about Court Street, Escobar Street, Castro Street and Las Juntas?
One could reasonably conclude that excluding only Main and Ferry Streets suits the Mayor well, his new office is on Main Street. Ya think!
– Tom Greerty