Great news! Our honorable public servants are finally interested in what all voters are thinking about the unfunded ban on all outdoor cannabis cultivation that three of them created.

It is very disheartening that this radical political pivoting by the self-proclaimed “elected by ban mandate” supervisors, whose disinformation and disrespect to members of our community sparked and fanned the flames of mistrust, fear and divisiveness over the regulated commercial cannabis cultivation issue, only occurred after poor regulatory program implementation, collection of millions in business taxes, their adoption of an unfunded cultivation ban destroying hundreds of taxpaying small farm businesses invested in this great county, re-election threats to all three and public disclosure of the projected county structural budget deficit. Thank you, Supervisor (Jack) Garamendi for standing up to this nonsense. Some blame the regulated community, but we should not overlook that county government created this mess by failing to create a working regulatory system.

If one supervisor is a polluter, are all supervisors polluters? Opinions will vary in any group of people. It is up to our public servants to weigh all opinions equally when deciding what course to chart. The public record has documented some of our elected public servants’ bias and prejudice against some contributing members of our wonderful county. For example, Mr. (Clyde) Clapp clearly stated he does not want “you people,” cannabis growers, in “his” county. Have you ever been branded as a criminal and your businesses destroyed not for your actions, but just because someone else in your profession has been a bad actor? I have, and it seems like bigotry in action.

Look at the public record. Our elected public servants created this divisive mess by failing to provide an adequately funded working regulatory program, and some of them lied, belittled and mislead while doing so. For many years, Mr. Clapp willfully and intentionally chose personal financial gain from illegally constructed subdivision property rental units with unpermitted, failed septic systems and apparently filed bankruptcy and never paid when fined by the county. He would have us believe he is deeply concerned about public health and environmental protection!

Mr. (Dennis) Mills, a self-professed financial expert, and our esteemed (Board of Supervisors) Chairman Mr. (Gary) Tofanelli have many times said that “the county is not broke” when defending their unfunded ban proposal, despite clearly presented contrary evidence that they ignored. When checked a couple of days ago, the Support Supervisor Mills Facebook page still posted such false claims attributed to both men, despite the estimated $9.2 million financial black hole created when the unfunded ban was adopted. The compliant tax-paying cannabis businesses (including mine), encouraged to be part of a solution by our local government, invested in this great county and have been destroyed by three public servants who accepted the resulting tax contributions and used fear mongering to manipulate and divide the public they are sworn to serve.

We must not overlook that the much bigger threat from uncontrolled, unpermitted cultivation remains to be solved. Yes, the Urgency Ordinance was not permanent nor provided a guarantee for invested businesses. It was, however, explicitly intended to be a stopgap measure before a permanent regulatory program was established.

“You should have known better.” That is what people are told after shysters rob them.

Glen Malliet

Mountain Ranch