All orbs were on Vice Mayor Small going into Monday evening’s City Council meeting where the sexiest retail rules regarding freshly legalized marijuana sales would be decided.
The Council was exactly divided on which way to lean.
The vice mayor was the lone undeclared vote on determining whether and how many retail dispensaries should be allowed.
What was the persuasive argument that landed Mr. Small in the ultimately victorious camp of Meghan Sahli-Wells and Mayor Jeff Cooper?
“The key,” he said, “is that we truly listen to the neighborhoods, that we assess the desires of the people who actually live where these shops might be located.
“I felt that message was heard loud and clear.”
In deciding which way to go, Mr. Small hammered heaviest at the notion that he wanted assurance all residents of tentatively chosen neighborhoods would be fully, directly informed — and would state yay or nay.
“I think everyone is on board to make sure that happens,” he said.
On a related matter, declared neighborhood support for hosting semi-nearby dispensaries is running not only thin but invisible.
It has been reported that of the 40 emails received by Council members before Monday’s meeting, 39 voted nay to dispensaries in their neighborhoods.
How does that balance against the Council’s ultimate vote to allow up to three dispensaries within Culver City?
The vice mayor’s response was accompanied by a layer of skepticism.
“I think we listened to every one of the 39 letters,” Mr. Small said.
“The majority came from Fox Hills but…
“You get these letters from people who are activists. You don’t know, though, how many people they are speaking for.”
(To be continued)