Jun 16 2009

Measure K Oversite Committee Meeting

Posted by J. Craig Canada in measure k committee

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The Measure K Committee met on June 15, 2009 and accomplished as little as possible, thanks to the transparent subterfuges of chair Mary Lou Goeke, who is also an executive director of United Way and therefore the hand-maiden of the local chamber of commerce. Obviously aligned with Mary Lou are vice-chair James King, who suggested they discuss cutting the meetings from twice a year to once a year, and member William Christie who provided the 3rd vote to accept so-called report which stated of 123 arrests and citations for marijuana from 1 Nov 2008 through 30 Apr 2009 none were “Measure-K applicable”.

In other words all 123 arrests or citations during that period were either: 1) distribution or sale to minors, 2) distribution, sale, cultivation, or use of marijuana on public property, or 3) driving under the influence.

This is a reduction of about 30% from the previous 6 month period during which the police reported 184 marijuana arrests or citations, and about the same as the six months prior to that. Of course, the police reported none of those 184 arrests or citations were “Measure K applicable”.

The only other numbers on the report were 40,679 calls for services which resulted in 10,828 citations or arrests. The report stresses that marijuana arrests and citations were only 1.1% of total citations/arrests.

This was the first meeting of Tony Madrigal’s appointee David Partida. He mostly listened, saying little if anything, but when he voted against approving the report it was obvious he had been paying attention.

The most telling point for me was when Anita Henri requested some sort of information about these 123 marijuana arrests or citations, beginning with how many were arrests and how many were citations, and chairwoman Goeke decided at the next meeting they would look at 1 (one) sample of the information that could be provided according to the city attorney’s interpretation of state law.

Keep in mind, it was the city attorney that represented the police department against Measure K with the result that the following two provisions were striken from the ordinance enacted by 68% of Santa Cruz voters.

(2) Responsibilities of the committee shall include:

(c) designing a supplemental report form for Santa Cruz law enforcement officers to use to report all adult marijuana arrests, citations, and property seizures, and all instances of officers assisting in state or federal arrests, citations, and property seizures for any adult marijuana offenses in the city of Santa Cruz; the report shall be designed with the goal of allowing the committee to ascertain whether the lowest law enforcement priority policy was followed;

(d) requesting additional information from any Santa Cruz law enforcement officer who engaged in law enforcement activity relating to one or more marijuana offenses under circumstances which appear to violate the lowest law enforcement priority policy. An officer’s decision not to provide additional information shall not be grounds for discipline;

Section 9.84.060, above, was amended by Order of the Superior Court on May 22, 2007

Eric Rice and Larry True have previously resigned in disgust. Larry True stated, “I joined the committee looking for a way to serve the community … I feel like the committee is no more than a rubber stamp for the police department.”

Two members were not present, Caroline Hawkins and Candi Jackson. Ryan Coonerty’s appointment to the committee has yet to be made.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30pm December 14, 2009.

Given the committee has been stacked by the city council with members hostile to Measure K and to oversight and civilian review of the police department, I expect the committee to vote to meet only once a year and to quash any attempt to verify or examine the numbers provided to it by the police department.

See Also: The Measure K Oversight Committe Meeting of June 15, 2009

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