Tahoe Daily Tribune: Endorsements for El Dorado County supervisor, Measure J, cannabis questions (opinion)
The Tribune has endorsed the following candidate and measures for the upcoming El Dorado County races.
These endorsements are based on what we feel is best for the community to move forward in a progressive and positive manner.
El Dorado County Supervisor – District 5
It is imperative that our county supervisor has the ability to develop multiple personal and professional relationships and work with the other districts within the county in collaborative fashion.
We feel the candidate that can best carry this through, and has delivered in this area, is Sue Novasel. However, we need more from Novasel than just this. While she is extremely active, being active doesn’t necessarily translate to outcomes. We need bona fide accomplishments, not a list of committees served on. Rather than take the sometimes PC response, she shouldn’t be afraid to roll up her sleeves and get in the trenches.
Much has been made about Novasel’s recent removal of a sign critical of her (Read more at http://www.tahoedailytribune.com). While we find she exercised poor judgment and provided an equally poor explanation, we do not feel it disqualifies her or makes her less qualified than her opponent, Kenny Curtzwiler.
While we can appreciate Curtzwiler’s passion, we believe that there is still a lack of knowledge compared to Novasel. Case in point: at the candidate forum held by Tahoe Chamber Curtzwiler was asked about Measure J (county TOT tax). He was unaware of what Measure J was.
If you’re running for a county position, you have to have an understanding of the county issues.
On a different note, we are intrigued by Curtzwiler’s idea to split District 5 from El Dorado County and join Alpine County. However, we fail to see how this idea will help him with the other four supervisors. Entering a marriage with talks of divorce does not bode well.
Curtzwiler is a dedicated member of the community and has knack for coming up with creative ideas — we look forward to his continued involvement in the community as a private citizen.
Overview: Measure J would increase the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which is a tourist occupancy tax on hotel, motel and vacation home rental stays of less than 30 days, from 10 to 12 percent. This is not a tax on residents of the county unless, of course, they stay overnight in the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County.
Endorsement: YES on Measure J
Why?: This is a tax that will benefit the county in many ways. It will be applied to the visitors of the county, not its residents. This also brings El Dorado County in line with many other tourist driven markets in California, including South Lake Tahoe.
Measure N, P, Q, R, & S
Overview: All five measures deal with marijuana at the county level (unincorporated areas). Briefly, here is a recap of each:
Measure N would create a general tax on cannabis, with specific rates set for outdoor cultivation, indoor cultivation, dispensary sales, retail sales and other uses. The tax would involve a permitting process with public feedback, as well as an enforcement program with fines set for illegal commercial activity. This measure must pass in order for any or all the others to pass.
Measure P would allow outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis for commercial purposes, including grows in greenhouses.
Measure Q would allow outdoor cultivation of recreational cannabis for commercial purposes, including grows in greenhouses.
Measure R would allow indoor commercial operations such as sales, cultivation or distribution for medicinal cannabis.
Measure S would allow indoor commercial operations such as sales, cultivation or distribution for recreational cannabis.
Endorsement: YES on Measures N, P, Q, R, & S
Why?: Within the details of each measure, there are specific rules and regulations. When you look at the financial benefits marijuana is creating across other states within the U.S., it would seem that the county is missing an opportunity that could create a revenue stream that would yield great benefits.