Council presentation calls mayor 'Lone Ranger', urges resignation
Quoting an 18-century French political philosopher and saying the mayor rode roughshod over the will of the people, Goldendale resident Darrell Smith Monday night called for Mayor Clinton Baze to resign immediately.
Smith spoke for about eight minutes making his case before a somber and quiet mayor and city council and some 25 observers.
“As Montesquieu observed,” Smith began, “’there is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.’ The citizens of the United States have the opportunity of forming our governments with the ever-existing threat that those governments exist solely by the consent of the governed.”
Smith went into detail on how the Golden Dispensaries cannabis retail store opened and sold marijuana illegally in defiance of the city government. He also cited a notice from the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) to the mayor about the shop sent in early June that was not brought to the attention of the community or the city council (see adjoining front page story). In that inaction, Smith contended, the mayor acted against the will of the majority of his presumed constituents either by neglect or in pursuance of a personal agenda. Calling the mayor a Lone Ranger administrator, Smith maintained that in doing so, he lost the right to govern as mayor and urged him to step down immediately.
Smith recommended as well that the city council enact an ordinance allowing the council to remove a sitting mayor or council member by majority vote. His comments echo a sentiment expressed by some residents who have begun talk of a recall of the mayor. One shared anonymously that he had begun researching the criteria required for a recall, adding he believed the mayor’s behavior in office met those criteria.
Baze has continually maintained he was acting fully in keeping with his mayoral responsibilities.
In other business, the council approved a new ordinance prohibiting the processing, production, or retail sales of marijuana anywhere in the city limits of Goldendale. The law does not affect Golden Dispensaries, which already opened and is not subject to the ordinance.
The council also voted to send a letter to the LCB and distribute it additionally to legislators about Goldendale Dispensaries illegal opening. “Golden Dispensaries opened for business on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014,” the letter states. “As of Oct. 25 Golden Dispensaries still did not possess a certificate of occupancy or a business license.” The letter states it wants the information kept with the file on the business by the LCB. Business owners Richard Ellis and Wena Coffman sent a letter to the council dated Oct. 30 saying, “Our intentions were not to defy the city. We opened Saturday, Oct. 25, to interrogate our Securities and POS system traceability programming with the Liquor Control Board.” The owners did not address their sale to the public that day of $176 of marijuana product.
The council Monday also heard 11 presentations from organizations requesting portions of the city’s allocated $45,000 in tourism funds for their causes.