The Paonia Town Council held a contentious study session on next year’s approximately $2 million dollar budget last week, with declining revenues pushing a host of competitive agendas.
Tax revenues have fallen all over the western slope, said Elyse Ackerman, regional manager of the Department of Local Affairs, or DOLA, who attended the session.
“The whole western slope is seeing a secondary dip happening,” Ackerman says. “If you talk to Mesa County, Montrose County, everyone’s kind of seeing it. The question is why, why is that happening again?”
Though voters in Paonia last November approved Amendment 64 – the measure legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado - the Paonia Town Council last night approved a moratorium on all commercial marijuana activity within town limits, until the issue can be put to voters in November of next year. Towns and municipalities across the state have been grappling with whether to allow marijuana legalization, a right given to them by Amendment 64.
Tuesday night’s Paonia Town Council meeting drew a much larger crowd than usual, with a full house of residents gathered to voice their opinions on how the town should deal with Amendment 64, the Colorado measure that legalizes commercial marijuana activity.
The Paonia Town Council last night walked back their “fix the sidewalk or else” approach, after hearing from residents upset about a letter requiring sidewalk repair, based on a decades-old ordinance that has never been enforced. Residents who failed to comply would have been faced with a $1000 fine which could take the form of a lien on their home if they failed to pay.
Paonia citizens waited through eleven agenda items and several reports before the opportunity to talk about sidewalks finally arrived. By then, one 37-year resident of the town had a bit of pent up anger.
In a narrow 2010 vote, Paonia residents approved a measure to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. This year, the question is whether to allow commercial marijuana sales in town. But after a decision by the Paonia Town Council yesterday evening (Tuesday July 9), that issue won't be on a ballot this year.
The Paonia Town Council on Tuesday evening voted to approve a "No Action" plan regarding Amendment 64, the Colorado constitutional measure that legalizes commercial marijuana activity in the state.