Apparently the only member on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors who paid close attention to our president's crowning achievement before he became president—having somebody else write a book on dealmaking and then saying he wrote it—is 4th District Supervisor Lynn "Hammer Out A Deal" Compton.
Our Negotiator In-Chief has pulled us out of so many deals (and hasn't really negotiated any) that I'm starting to wonder if he actually knows what
a deal is. But still, he released his part memoir, part business-advice manifesto "The Art of the Deal" to the world in 1987.
Board Chair and 1st District Supervisor John "You Do It" Peschong placed all of his faith in Compton's dealmaking prowess to negotiate what essentially amounts to a settlement between parties in Peschong's district over growing cannabis. He passed the blame baton on the Great York Mountain Road Pot Debacle to Compton, whose recent re-election to her seat assures that she won't take a hit in the 2020 election—because she's not running. In a very unusual step, the board took a recess on March 26 during a public hearing on an appeal to the project, to do a little shady backroom wheeling and dealing.
The initial 10 to 15 minutes Peschong allotted to this odd private conversation in the middle of a public workday for our elected county officials turned into almost an hour! This was due in part to the appellant, who, by the way, lives nowhere near the project: famed Templeton restaurant entrepreneur Ian McPhee, the owner and operator of McPhee's Grill. He was unsatisfied with the terms outlined in the county ordinance that allows for cannabis growing permits, which basically took two years for the county to hammer out (See what I did there?). Where were you then, McPhee?
He was unhappy that after five years, a cannabis grower needs to reapply for a permit. The project applicant had already agreed to remove all of its outdoor grows from the operation, and reduced its size by one-seventh of where it started—but McPhee said he wasn't looking for something that could change in five years. It needed to be permanent.
"When I said no grow, I meant no grow," he told supervisors during public comment, at which point, I'm not sure which of our conservative bedfellows started shaking in their boots first.
I guess when McPhee wants something, he gets what he wants—and again, why does he care? He's not the neighbor who complained to the Board of Supervisors that nobody would come to their wine estate pool party because the smell of pot is lingering in the air—which isn't true. I would totally go to that pool party.
Hmm, is there something I'm missing? When did McPhee start running the county? When did it become OK to cow-tow to a constituent who doesn't like the ordinances that we've spent a bucket load of money and public meeting time to put in place? Whelp. The county couldn't condition the project in perpetuity, so there needed to be private dealmaking between the appellant and the applicant. And apparently, Compton was the woman for the job.
County Counsel Rita Neal was OK with the move, so it must be legal. Honestly, she was probably just relieved that the Board of Supervisors didn't condition the project itself. Honestly, I'm just mad that I couldn't watch the WWE match that would have ensued between Compton and her liberal colleagues over what should be done! I feel swindled!
"In a way this board has dodged having to dig in and make a difficult decision on a very significant issue that's going to be before us for some time," 2nd District Supervisor Bruce "The Condescending-Yet-Correct Pontificator" Gibson said. "In my mind this does not set a precedent or standard over what's necessary to approve cannabis cultivation operations in this county."
Bruce, baby. I believe this sets a precedent that a private sesh with an applicant and an appellant during a public meeting is indeed A-OK. As far as cannabis goes, the only precedent that this board has set is being slow as molasses when it comes to approving projects and that the conservative board members are chicken shits because they're so afraid of losing votes for upholding the laws that they themselves have put into place!
Thankfully, we've also got Puppy Gate 2019 to distract ourselves with! The Animal Kingdom Pet Shop is in deep doggy doo doo once again over its dealings with faraway puppy providers. Yes, folks, passionate puppy lovers are not to be trifled with! And neither are people who fork out between $1,200 to $1,500 for a dog that is legally required to come from a rescue operation. Who does that?
Go to Woods Humane Society people. The adoption fee is small and the puppies are cute AF!
Bark Adoptions Rescue, which Animal Kingdom gets its puppies from, is being investigated for being shady all over the state—San Diego County is fining stores that deal with the "rescue" $500 per pet, but SLO County seems to think everything is all good in the dog hood.
But don't worry. If No More Pet Store Puppies 805 and its founder Christine Collier have anything to say about it, there's definitely going to be a WWE takedown of Animal Kingdom—and I'm not getting shafted this time! Δ
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