County residents deserve voice on Bayfield marijuana issue

Friday, March 9, 2018 9:42 AM

The last two town board meetings in Bayfield proved to be discouraging for the numerous citizens who took time out to attend and to express their views regarding the pending marijuana decision to be made by the town board.

Town trustees, who have the responsibility to make the decision regarding allowing retail marijuana to be sold within the town's limits, have passed the ball down to the community by delaying a vote on the issue and instead deciding to take the issue to the town's residents for an advisory vote.

In both meetings identified above, an overwhelming majority of the people attending the meetings expressed negative viers about allowing retail pot sales in the community. Yes, many of those attending were not residents of Bayfield, but they too have an interest in the community and obviously identify with Bayfield's public persona.

Local non-residents contribute to the local businesses which provide services to all; they also helped improve local fire protection services and improve the local schools with recent millage increases. Without their help, those millage increases may have been dead in the water.

Local non-residents want this community to be the best it can be for all people. Much of the property taxes paid by non-residents with a Bayfield address go to help provide the many public services we demand from government, assisting Bayfield residents as well as non-residents.

Those of us with a Bayfield address deserve to be allowed to vote on this critical issue as it affects us as much as it does the residents of Bayfield.

This is an advisory vote, not an official election as covered by Colorado law. The Bayfield trustees are required to make the decision, not the voters.

There is no guarantee that the town board will honor voters' wishes, no matter how the public decides in the advisory vote. Bayfield residents need the entire surrounding community residents to help press the issue to deny the approval of retail marijuana production and sales in this community.

With an overwhelming reaction to the board's reluctance to deny the sale of marijuana in this community, we can together create enough public pressure to keep this evil from entering Bayfield.

One of the present trustees on the board is one of the people interested in obtaining a license to sell marijuana in Bayfield, possibly the reason for the board's inaction on this important decision. Maybe she should be recalled from her position.

Bayfield's future reputation as a family community needs all of us to attend future board meetings to prevent this cancer from being approved, and also please press the town board to open this advisory vote to those of us with a Bayfield address.

We need to stick together on this matter. The board of trustees need to hear from you as soon as possible.

Edmund J. Tucker