Councilman Bellomy Provides Context on his April 4th Vote



The Lamar City Council held a special work session this past Monday, April 4th, allowing the public a chance to ask questions and offer insight regarding two decisions the council would make in regular session pertaining to the ineligibility ruling on the marijuana ballot results from November 2021.

Mike Bellomy, who represents Ward 3 and is the newest council member, voted to have the council refer the failed ballot questions to the next election in November, 2022.  His vote was in the minority and one of three in favor of the action.

“I’m personally opposed to marijuana,” he explained, adding that based on the number of phone calls he’s received over the matter, “The majority wanted to have the question on the ballot, those from my ward and also from the general public.”

Bellomy said, “In my mind, I’m obligated to do what my constituents want, whether I personally agree with those decisions.”  He stated that on Monday, he listened to every speaker during the hour long work session, and became aware that some speakers were not City of Lamar residents and who did not vote on the issue in 2021 and as the question was before only local residents, those same people would not be able to vote should the questions be put on the ballot this November.

“A medical marijuana moratorium was enacted by the city twelve years ago and still remains,” he said, adding that several residents had some doubt if it would have been cancelled if the 2021 votes favoring marijuana had been legitimate.  Bellomy said he also wants to be clear that the city charter states that if a petition failed on two occasions, the group putting it forward must wait a year before they can try again.  The first petition was invalid over a technical error when staples were removed from the document.  The grey area is how the second set would be considered invalid as the basic error was not from the SoCO proponents but from the error on the part of the city over the percentage of signatures required for the petition to be valid which was relayed to SoCO representatives.

Bellomy said there are a couple of other issues he wanted to investigate pertaining to how the city’s Three Mile buffer zone with the county would play into marijuana grow operations.  “I don’t know if the county would allow that as they put up their own marijuana moratorium in 2017.  We need to find out how the next election, if the votes are approved in favor this time, would impact their ruling.”
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeatured


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