The Shasta Lake City Council will touch on medical marijuana, open-meetings policies and utility rate hikes at its next meeting Tuesday night.
The council will vote on whether to change the way citizens have their concerns considered by the council and whether to replace its contentious check register policy.
John Kenny, the city attorney, has recommended to the council that it change its municipal code so that citizens who want items placed on the council’s agenda must come before the council and request it.
The current approach has the citizen provide a written request, including a “substantial statement outlining the information which they intend to present to the City Council,” by the Wednesday before the meeting, Kenny wrote. Neither the mayor nor the city manager reviews the item before it’s placed on the agenda, he wrote.
Kenny proposes eliminating that path because it leads to incomplete items on the agenda as the request may not specify the documents or subject matter. Instead, he suggests replacing it with a request to the council during a meeting.
“If someone wants a matter placed on the agenda, they have the right to appear during open time and ask the City Council to agenda the item. If the City Council agrees, the item can be placed on the agenda for an appropriate time,” he wrote. “This does not prevent access to the agenda but only assures that matters on the agenda are truly ready for action by the City Council.”
The council will also consider a replacement for its check register policy, in which two members, as the finance committee, sign off on the checks paid out by the city. Kenny wrote that he met with Tim Pappas, a tea party member who originally broached the issue. The pair approved language stating that two council members sign off on the issue, according to agenda documents.
Also Tuesday night, the council will hear its first readings of a new medical marijuana ordinance and a proposal to increase utility rates.
Two rate schedules are being proposed for residential customers, said Richard Kern, a member of the electric commission. One would hike the cost per kilowatt hour by about 11.37 percent over two years. The increase would raise a typical monthly bill from $116.14 to $147.15. The other proposal would spread that increase over three years.
Both would increase annual revenue from residential bills by about $1.37 million by 2014.
Kern said fewer customers have sent revenues down, and green energy fees are increasing costs, along with paying off debt.
“We’ve been taking money out of the reserve rather than putting money in the reserve,” he said.
The proposed medical marijuana ordinance would remove any local officials’ approval of medical marijuana businesses. That would shield employees from federal accusations of facilitating the distribution of medical marijuana, according to the agenda documents. The mayor also will appoint two members to the new Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulations Committee, which will handle some complaints, Councilman Greg Watkins said.