Herald Staff Writer
Barberton City Council continued their discussion about medical marijuana in the first meeting of the year.
Nov. 27, they voted against legislation that would allow the city to have more control over these entities with additional regulations like city licensing fees. Since they voted no, new legislation was proposed Jan. 2 prohibiting the operation of cultivators, processors and dispensaries.
There is one exception in the ordinance that caused some debate. Licensed facilities like a university, academic medical center or private research and development organization would be allowed to conduct research.
Councilwoman Nina Angeloff asked whether this research exception could include testing the marijuana products and if so, they already voted against this when they voted no on the first piece of legislation.
She said, “I don’t have a problem with testing and research, that would be wonderful to have that in town, but I have a problem with that being put on this piece of legislation after it’s already been voted no on.”
Director of Planning and Community Development, Joe Stefan, said this legislation is not based on the old one but rather what he says is the city’s second best option.
With no legislation in place, medical marijuana entities could go in an area zoned commercial, industrial or in the downtown area. Wherever a pharmacy might go, a company could go, said Stefan.
Councilwoman Carla Debevec said she did not approve of the original legislation because she thought they could have increased their licensing fees. They agreed to have three readings to allow more discussion.
They also discussed trash that was not collected on 16th Street Northwest for two weeks when a resident at the meeting asked. Councilwoman Joyce Coburn said residents need to call Director of Public Services Michael Vinay, Administrative Coordinator for the Mayor Melissa McFadden or Republic Services directly. Republic reportedly missed the street the week of Christmas and were supposed to come back and collect it Dec. 29 but it was left again. It appears as though the trash has been collected as of Jan. 4.
Members talked about an ordinance allowing Mayor William Judge to hire a building commissioner within a range of pay grades. This pay specification will able him to negotiate the salary and offer about $49 to over $60,000 based on experience. They have had trouble filling the position before so they are raising the amount they can offer, said Judge.
They discussed a contract with Pentair Flow Technologies to get three new pumps at the Water Treatment Plant for about $244,075. Weaver said he has more information to provide council before they vote. This and other legislation will be voted on in upcoming meetings.
Council had their organizational meeting, where Judge Todd McKenney swore in Craig Megyes (vice president) as president, Carol Frey as vice president, and Carla Debevec and Michael Soyars as at-large council members and Renee Fox as council clerk.
In closing comments, Judge asked council members to give him a list of the streets in each ward that they want to see on the paving program.
(Photos by Michelle DeShon in Herald photos)