Last night’s city council meeting

Here are my notes from last night’s meetings:

Ice cream truck regulations

We began the discussions of whether to allow ice cream trucks in Stow, and under what conditions. As it stands now, they are banned; however, the ban is not enforced. So the status quo is: there are ice cream trucks and there are no safeguards for our children.

Most councilmembers shared my concerns for ensuring that the drivers of the trucks are thoroughly vetted with a background check, since they will be directly interacting with children. Some other ideas for rules included:

  • They may only sell on 25 MPH roads
  • They may only sell during certain hours (i.e., from 11 a.m. until 1/2 hour before sunset)
  • They must hold sufficient liability insurance
  • They must pay a fee to cover the costs that the city incurs in administering the program

In the next month or so, I expect we will have a framework for legislation.

Medical Marijuana

Council voted by a 4-3 margin (Riehl, Costello and Adaska voted “no”) to ban medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation in Stow. Medical marijuana use is permitted by state law and is unaffected.

As I said last week, I’m in favor of medical marijuana and am excited about the potential medicinal value to people who are suffering. But I’m also sensitive to those Stow residents who are worried that a cash-only dispensary will attract crime, as our police chief and law director warned.

I plan to bring legislation next month to permit cultivation, so long as there are adequate safeguards to ensure a secure, crime-free facility. Allowing cultivation is a no-brainer.

For retail sales, meanwhile, I think the correct play is to be patient and see how it works in other communities before we enter the market. I’m not against it; I just don’t see the benefit in being the guinea pig. It will be an issue we examine in 2018, I’m sure.

Next meeting

Council will meet next on August 10.