Supes will talk nitty-gritty of new pot laws at meeting

Pot, groundwater, and sound cannons are on the supes’ agenda for Tuesday.

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UKIAH, 4/17/2017 — Water, pot, behavioral health, and sound cannons are on the docket for  Tuesday’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting — which will be the second of two scheduled supervisors’ meetings for next week, since the board will also meet on Monday.

Tuesday’s meeting will be heavy on presentations. One of them will be by representatives of planning and building services, on “Department readiness to handle cannabis compliance and enforcement.” A memo from Trent Taylor, a code consultant for the department, states that additional staffing is necessary to create cannabis compliance unit within the department. Taylor also stated his willingness to act as the interim code enforcement division manager while the unit is developing. He added that in the first three months of 2017, 30% of incoming code complaints were cannabis related, and that “Our primary focus related to Cannabis compliance will be to get violators into the permitting process as quickly as possible with other enforcement action, including abatement if necessary, should violators refuse or fail to reasonably comply.”

Track and trace is also on the agenda, with Humboldt County’s provider vying for the $28,000 contract with Mendocino County. Alex Spelman, the business development director for SICPA/Meyercord, is scheduled to deliver a presentation about the company’s track and trace program. According to a powerpoint presentation accompanying the agenda item, SICPA provided California’s first county track and trace program in Humboldt, “went live” in Yolo County last month; and is currently expanding Humboldt’s program in Eureka. Spelman’s powerpoint also claims that SIPCATRACE, a product used to trace cigarettes, “is responsible for securing over $800 million in excise tax  revenues.” If approved, the contract would begin on April 18 of this year and extend through the end of 2019.

The supes will also consider whether or not to approve a joint powers authority forming a groundwater sustainability agency for the Ukiah Valley groundwater basin. Fellow members would include the Russian River Flood Control and water conservation improvement district, the Upper Russian River water agency, and the City of Ukiah. The JPA would also include two stakeholder directors, one each to represent tribal and agricultural interest. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 requires that medium-priority basins, such as the one in the Ukiah Valley, be managed by a sustainable plan. First District Supervisor Carre Brown is the proposed representative for Mendocino County, with Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg as the alternate.

In the consent calendar, which is a collection of items that will be approved en masse unless a supervisor requests that an item be removed, there is a request from the sheriff’s office for a long-range acoustic device, also known as an LRAD or a sound cannon. The cost for one LRAD 100X and two LRADX wireless kits is $9,769, which includes tax but not shipping.

Some or all of the money for the devices would come from a State Homeland Security Grant Program. According to adsinc, a company that sells the LRAD 100X, the device is 20-30 decibels louder than competing megaphones. “As a portable communication system, it overcomes the background noise of vehicles, vessels, sirens and boisterous crowds to ensure each message is clearly heard and understood,” up to 600 meters, according to the product description. Sound cannons have been used for “crowd control” at protests from Cairo to Ferguson, and may emit sound waves in a manner that causes permanent damage to the human ear.

Also in the consent calendar is an increase in the county’s contract with Crestwood Behavioral Health, which provides residential mental health treatment to adults in various locations around the state of California. The original contract, which the county and the business entered in July of 2016, was for $67,160. If the consent calendar is approved, the amount will increase to $292,160 for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Sarah Reith [email protected]

 

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