Mayor Garza vetoes cannabis ordinance; Recommends stronger language

August 10, 2012 02:11 PM
Mayor Sal Garza will veto the cannabis ordinance approved by city council at its August 6, 2012 meeting. Having reserved his right to vote on the ordinance Monday night, Garza will recommend language to improve the ordinance especially regarding youth offenders.
Recommendations include requiring completion of an assessment and education program for youth violators under the age of 18 and adjusting the minimum fine to cover the costs of implementing the education program. In the event the education program is not completed by the youth violator, language is being recommended for additional fines and charges.
"This is an attempt to strengthen the approved ordinance as it currently stands and also to address the misperception that we are decriminalizing the use of marijuana," stated Garza.
Garza added he believed that through assessment and education, "we can help first time youth violators from repeating these offenses."
The Galesburg Municipal Code and the Illinois Compiled Statutes contain provisions outlining the veto power of a mayor under the city manager form of government. By not approving the ordinance, Mayor Garza can return it to the city council at its next regularly scheduled meeting accompanied with a veto message. The Council would then reconsider the ordinance. The Illinois Compiled Statutes establishes the time for reconsideration shall be the next regular meeting following the meeting at which council receives the Mayor's written objection or veto message. By adhering to the time table set forth by the Galesburg Municipal Code and the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the cannabis ordinance would be reconsidered by council at its regular meeting on September 3, 2012.
Upon reconsideration, if two-thirds of the council (5 of 7) vote in favor, the ordinance passes. If not, the veto stands.


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