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Cannabis Again On Calaveras Supes’ Agenda

San Andreas, CA – Cannabis, bad checks and a support letter for the Calaveras Fish & Game Commission are among the supervisors’ orders of business this week.

As reported here last week, in the wake of the recent court order for the county elections office to remove Calaveras Measure B commercial cannabis ban from the May 2 special ballot, the supervisors assigned to the two-person cannabis ad hoc committee had still not met.

They are District 2 Supervisor Jack Garamendi, whose constituents include far and away the majority of the county’s 700-plus commercial growers who registered, and District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills, who has emerged as the de facto lead of a three-supervisor voting bloc in favor of a county-initiated ban ordinance outlawing commercial grows.

As part of its regular agenda, the board will hear a report from the two of their initial meeting along with their recommendations for next steps.

Board To Mull Three Cannabis Grow Appeals

Also slated are considerations to uphold the planning commission’s denials of three appeals made from commercial cannabis registrants hoping to reverse Planning Director Peter Maurer’s initial decisions against their applications. All three share a lack of what planning staff identified as failure to provide complete paperwork/permits and/or not disclosing or providing misleading information.

The applicants are Jonathan Zanni for an operation on 7153 Lawson Road in Paloma; Joe Cornejo, whose grow is located on 1151 Gorley Lane, Railroad Flat; also Carlos Garcia, whose operation is at 6319 Pine Cone Way, Mountain Ranch.

District Attorney Barbara Yook is seeking a resolution from the board confirming there are sufficient checks to continue an in-house “Bad Check Restitution Program” (BCRP) to provide outreach, education, and investigation of non-sufficient funds checks written to county merchants. She states, in the meeting documents, that the BCRP in the past year has worked with merchants on prevention measures to help them avoid becoming victims and has completed over 40 investigations resulting in the recovery of thousands of dollars in restitution and several prosecutions.

Bad Check Writers’ Restitution To Victims

With this success in hand, the DA is requesting authority to enhance the program’s revenue by collecting, where appropriate, a charge of $50 per bad check as authorized under state penal code. This, she indicates, would require bad check-writers pay diversion fees, make full restitution to the merchant, and complete diversion classes.

She indicates that eligibility will be based on such factors as the amount of the bad check, the person’s prior criminal record, and the number of bad check grievances against the person. If the board authorizes it, it will allow the DA the option of addressing the illegal conduct and pursuing restitution for the victim without using criminal justice system resources in appropriate cases.

The board anticipates sending a letter of support, as requested by the Calaveras Fish & Game Commission, that reinforcing the commission’s opposition to banning the use of hunting dogs for the pursuit or taking of mammals.

Paws Of Support For Hunting Dogs

The draft notes that Calaveras County receives considerable revenue from local and out-of-county visitors who come to fish and hunt; that other similarly restrictive legislation in the past has brought negative impacts on local hunting; also that the use of dogs, not only an important tradition to many hunters, is effective at locating/finding and retrieving game, helping provide more effective game populations management.

In other business relating recent storm-related emergency repairs of Old Gulch Road, the board is expected to pass a formal resolution that requires a four-fifths approval confirming that since the roadwork was urgently necessary, it was not required to give notice for bids.

The repairs, originally estimated to take 30 days, took five under the auspices of Cole Tiscornia Construction, which submitted an invoice of roughly $46,100. With FEMA and CalOES reimbursements forthcoming, due to declared states of emergency for winter storm impacts to infrastructure, the county’s match portion will run under $2,900 with the payment from the county’s road fund and expected to be reimbursed from general funds.

Other Business

Another emergency repair made necessary last October in downtown Murphys due to a fire/domestic waterline failure that also unearthed a collapsed county storm drain will require a similar four-fifths rubber stamp to make a payout.

Although part of the cost will be Union Public Utility District’s, the county is responsible for about two-thirds of the road repair costs. Sutton Enterprises, which did the work submitted to the county invoices of about $41,300. The payment is expected to be covered by the Highway User Tax Account and property taxes.

Following a closed session at 8 a.m. the meeting will begin at 9 in the supervisors chambers (891 Mountain Ranch Road).