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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pasadena Vice-Mayor Calls For Cannabis Application Reboot As Investigation Finds No Bias

Pasadena Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton's call for a Cannabis Application Reboot as a majority of its City Council supports making Public, findings of an Investigation that supposedly clears the Administration of City Manager Steve Mermell, of bias in the selection process.  
 Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell's Administration handling of Cannabis Permits, is subject of City Attorney-initiated Investigation, that finds no bias. 
Pasadena Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton.
** Blogger's Notes: The City of Pasadena Cannabis Legalization Controversy has no shortage of sub-plots, compliments of Vice-Mayor Tyron Hampton and a timely-responsive City Hall Administration under the charge of Steve Mermell.

Vice-Mayor Hampton on January 20, released a Statement that called the Cannabis Application Process overseen by City Manager Steve Mermell, "has proven to be a failure and should be stopped and overhauled".
As noted in the Pasadena Star News,

The bulk of Hampton’s letter on Monday focused on Pasadena’s scoring system, which Hampton believes favored national cannabis operators. The result? Local Pasadena residents were shut out of a process that could have led to millions of dollars in profits, he said.

Mere hours after Vice-Mayor Hampton's Statement, the City Administration countered in an email sent to Pasadena Now, that investigations conducted by outside Law Firms, as directed by the City Attorney, found no bias in the Application Process.

“The City takes all complaints very seriously and, where appropriate, reviews them with multiple layers of oversight, as was the case here, the email reads. “The City has spent in excess of $100,000 investigating and reviewing these complaints, made by one individual who has indicated that he was engaged as a consultant for one of the cannabis retailers. Additionally, the City has incurred hundreds of thousands in responding to requests by this consultant related to this matter, under the Public Records Ave. “We will continue to move forward with our cannabis process as directed by the Voters.

This week, Pasadena Mayoral Challenger (and City Councilman) Victor Gordo has joined with Vice-Mayor Hampton in expressing concerns about City Manager Steve Mermell's administrated Cannabis Application Process and both are part of a City Council majority that would like to see a redacted copy of the investigation report made public.

Mayoral Candidate Victor Gordo, Tyron Hampton, Gene Masuda and Andy Wilson said they would support the release of the documents. Gordo and Hampton have expressed concerns with the cannabis permitting process. Masuda and Wilson said they believe city employees acted with integrity but would have no problem with a redacted version of a report being released, since it could contain personnel information. “I have not seen any investigatory material,” Gordo said. “I’d like to see the report released to the City Council. It is the Council’s responsibility to provide oversight, and the public has the right to know.”

Now the question is whether the City Hall Administration of Steve Mermell will comply with the wishes of a discerning majority----Scott Johnson.

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