At a recent Redlands City Council special meeting, individual councilmembers introduced projects and policies they’d like the city to study. Topics ranged from a tax on cannabis sales to banning gas-powered leaf blowers to improving economic development opportunities on the North side.
Councilmember Jenna Guzman-Lowery proposed studying a cannabis tax at the Aug. 22 meeting, saying cannabis is used in the community despite whether the city capitalizes on it by taxing sales or distribution.
Some councilmembers were skeptical of a cannabis tax, noting the sale of cannabis is not currently legal in Redlands. But they agreed there was no harm into looking further into the topic.
The city of Riverside is currently looking at a cannabis tax, and could provide a model for Redlands to follow.
The council referred the tax and other proposals to city staff for exploration. City Manager Charles Duggan said he sought the council’s feedback in an effort to make the best use of city staff’s time.
In addition to the cannabis tax, the council discussed:
— An ordinance banning gas-powered leaf blowers. Councilmember Denise Davis introduced the ordinance, noting that the state of California is introducing a ban on the purchase of new gas leaf blowers, which goes into effect in 2024.
— A bike sharing program. Davis and Guzman-Lowery proposed the project for its environmental benefits as an an active, alternative way to travel in the downtown area.
— A mental health response team. Guzman-Lowery suggested developing a team to better respond to calls of domestic abuse, rape, violence and other traumatic experiences. She added that this could assist in deescalating situations.
— Northside Redlands economic development. Guzman-Lowery proposed studying what she called “dead zones,” or underdeveloped areas in the Northside.
— Expanding broadband access. Guzman-Lowery suggested the city improve underserved areas, adding some residents still use dial-up internet service. Federal grants could help the city improve broadband access, she said.
This content was originally published here.