In This Issue


From the Office of the City Manager         May 22, 2015


Discontinuing the Consideration of
Marijuana Dispensaries


During the past four months, the City has been exploring the adoption of an ordinance to allow a limited number of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Medical Marijuana Cultivation facilities in Greenfield.   I freely admit that this entire subject was something very new to me.   As a kid, I never smoked cigarettes and was not allowed to play with anyone who Dad suspected was using drugs or smelled of marijuana on their clothing.  When I was in school, "good kids" did not do drugs and the "bad kids" did.  It was pretty simple back then.  As a parent, I have done my best to make sure my own son clearly understood the dangers of illegal drugs.  Today, he does not even drink coffee ...let alone beer or smoke...which makes me happy.   


Each member of the City Council has had similar experience in their younger days.  Collectively, we all understand the concern many of our residents had this last month when they heard the City was considering "legalizing" the sale and use of marijuana in Greenfield.  Certainly, with all the challenges we have in Greenfield it is reasonable to question the wisdom adopting such an ordinance.


While I could use this opportunity to explain what I have learned over the past few months about Medical Marijuana and how it is very different from the illegal pot criminals who buy and sell on the streets, I very much understand why so many people came to City Hall opposed to any ordinance that allows or promotes the sale and use of marijuana in the community.  Like each member of the City Council, I felt the emotion and fear expressed by hundreds of upset parents and leaders of our faith based community.  


And, in the dark shadow of the recent violence in Greenfield this month, it is also clear that our collective energy and passion could better be spent improving our Police Department and finding ways to properly fund City government.


Yesterday, Mayor Huerta issued a press release stating that the City has discontinued further consideration of Marijuana Dispensaries.  However, it is important to know that this topic is not going away. As I write, there are numerous bills before the Legislature that propose comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the large-scale cultivation, manufacture, transportation and sale of medical marijuana. In addition, California voters may be asked in November 2016 to consider an initiative that would approve recreational use of marijuana irrespective of the City's decision to allow or not allow marijuana dispensaries.  In the meantime, I would highly suggest everyone take an opportunity to educate themselves on this subject.  Medical marijuana has had a very positive impact on the quality of life of many law abiding people who quietly use the product, follow their doctor's recommendation and attend church on Sunday.  Usually, these folks don't come to City Council meetings, they don't express their opinion in public....but they can give very moving testimony about the positive impact of medical marijuana and explain why this issue is so energized in our state, and in our community.

City Council Increases Spending to Add Cops


After a long month of continued violence and homicide in Greenfield, the City Council has approved the Administration's proposed reductions in general government spending of $311,000 to increase law enforcement funding in the FY 2015-16 Proposed Budget.   These budget savings were obtained by not funding the positions of Public Works Director, Code Enforcement Officer and Management Analyst in the coming budget.   The additional funds will allow the Police Department to hire an additional three police officers in July and begin to aggressively combat the needless violence that seems we have all witnessed here in Greenfield in other cities throughout California.   Except for a one-time $25,000 capital contribution for the renovation expense of the Downtown Arts Center, the revised FY 2015 Measure X spending Plan now allocates 100% of all sales tax funds for Law Enforcement Spending. 


As discussed in the FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 budget transmittal letter, the City does not have a diversified revenue base to fund critical city services and has not taken adequate steps in the past to ensure projected revenue kept pace with projected expenditures.  It is simply not sustainable to provide quality city services to the community relying exclusively on the collection of sales tax and the receipt of property tax revenue.  Without new revenues, the proposed general fund budget reductions will become permanent which is not in the best interest of Greenfield. 


As the City Council and Finance Advisory Board completes and approves a spending plan for FY 2016, it is imperative that Greenfield consider adopting one or more of the four major revenues identified in the City's Revenue Option Study for generating sufficient funds to enhance the City's ability to pay for critical services such as recreation, law enforcement and city personnel.  If you have not seen the report, read it here.

 CM Report


 Water Consumption Surcharge 


Next week everyone will be receiving a new utility bill.  This bill will include the water consumption surcharge that I have discussed in recent newsletters. 

As I have explained a number of times, the State of California and the City of Greenfield continue to face a serious water shortage due to the ongoing drought that is now extending into its fourth year.  Just last month Governor Brown issued an Executive Order directing that water consumption be reduced statewide a minimum of 25% and encouraging urban water suppliers to develop a water consumption rate structure that maximizes water conservation.  In response to the Governor's executive order and emergency water conservation regulations issued by the State Water Resources Control Board, the City has adopted a water consumption surcharge.  You will see the impact of this surcharge on your next utility bill.

The effect of this surcharge will be felt by every resident of our city.  The greatest impact will be felt by those who use the most amount of water, those who needlessly waste water, and those who are not making an effort to conserve water and protect this precious natural resource. In the coming months, the City will be developing and participating in a number of programs that will assist homeowners, renters, and businesses in achieving significant reductions in the amount of water consumed each and every day.  Some of these programs will be offered by product manufactures and some by the State of California.  The City will also discuss developing its own programs that supplement these rebates to provide an even greater benefit to local residents who get rid of their old fixtures, appliances, and wasteful practices that use large amounts of water and replace them with new products and practices that are high efficiency and have low water use.  Some of those programs will include:

  • The City has purchased 500 water conservation kits that will soon be available to residential water customers.  These kits include low flow shower heads, low flow bathroom and kitchen faucets, a toilet tank bladder to reduce the amount of water used with each flush, and toilet leak detector tablets.  We are still awaiting delivery of these kits but when they are received, they will be made available, free of charge, to residential water customers.


  • Provide assistance to customers in installing the free water conservation kits.


  • Provide a water use audit of homes, apartments, and businesses to help identify how water is used, where and how water is being wasted, and how the consumer can make changes in their water use habits that can result in significant water savings.


  • Participate in consumer rebate programs for the purchase and installation of high efficiency low water use dishwashers, clothes washers, kitchen and bathroom faucets, showerheads, and toilets.


  • Participate in rebate programs for lawn/turf removal and replacement with drought tolerant landscaping.


  • Participate in rebate programs for replacement of inefficient spray lawn irrigation systems with drip and micro spray systems.

The water surcharge that will appear on everyone's utility bill will be used to pay for the cost of these programs.  The additional money that will come into the City for this surcharge will be put to good use to pay for water conservation programs and provide assistance to all our water customers in developing good water use habits and practices.


If we all work together, we can make a big difference on how we use water, how much we use, and how much we needlessly waste.  By taking these steps today, we can ensure that we will have plentiful water available in the future.  Protecting our precious water resources is something that everyone of us can do.  Every drop of water saved is important.  Let's all become water wise and not waste this precious resource.  

Legal Services for Seniorsprovides legal services at no charge to Monterey County seniors 60 years of age and older with an emphasis on the socially and/or economically needy."  If you are a Monterey County resident, at least sixty (60) years old, they can help. Give them a call to make an appointment at one of their offices in Salinas or Seaside or one of their many outreach sites throughout the County. 


A Legal Services for Seniors attorney holds office hours every Tuesday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Monterey County Free Library, 315 Camino Real, Greenfield, CA.    Walk-ins are welcome and appointments can be made by calling us at 831.442.7700.  There website is  Since 1985, LSS has helped more than 81,000 Monterey Country Seniors with legal issues such as landlord-tenant conflicts, Medicare insurance mix-ups, Social Security mistakes, consumer fraud, physical and financial elder abuse, wills, advance health care directives and more.


To short videos links: 


Regional workforce, housing and broadband infrastructure top agenda at upcoming Critical Conversation 


The Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) hosts its third annual Monterey Bay  Regional Critical Conversation at Casa Munras Garden Hotel and Spa on Thursday, June 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. MCBC is holding this event in conjunction with the Monterey County Association of Realtors and California Forward. Our keynote speaker in the morning will be Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist and vice president for the California Association of Realtors. We will also be joined by Kish Rajan, recently departed director of GO-Biz and who now, among other things, works with CALinnovates. 


One of 16 Regional Critical Conversation Forums in California, the forum is part of the California Forward and the California Stewardship Network that will bring outcomes from each regional forum to the statewide economic summit in November. As part of the summit network, MCBC continues to make significant progress with our community partners on workforce development, infrastructure financing, regulatory streamlining, advancing manufacturing, stewardship of working landscapes, access to capital and housing. Our forum this year will focus on regional workforce, housing and broadband infrastructure issues. 






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