Chief weighs in on medical marijuana proposal

By Harrison Thrasher

The Mason Times

A medical marijuana ordinance was the primary feature for the planning commission’s joint meeting with city council on Feb. 10. Perhaps the most animated discussion was by a member of those actually responsible for enforcing the law: the police.

Police Chief John Stressman said he does not want the ordinance to pass.

Stressman cited dangers that could come as a result of passing the ordinance. His most pressing issue was where the supply would come from. As each caregiver would only be allowed 60 plants for five patients maximum, Stressman said the demand would be higher than a caregiver could supply within legal bounds.

Since police would have less authority in stopping marijuana, more illegal transactions could take place for those without a medical marijuana license. “We would possibly be inviting more activity from the cartel,” said Stressman. “The new ordinance would make it more difficult for our officers to identify illegal substances.”

Stressman also said that illegal sales could come from patients who obtain the marijuana legally. “There would still be no control over distribution by the caregiver,” Stressman said, meaning that patients would essentially be able to purchase as much as they pleased without limit.

The problem is that a patient could buy more than needed and then sell the rest under the table. A patient can have as much marijuana as deemed necessary and cannot be charged with possession as long as they have a medical marijuana card. The only exception would be if a patient was caught in an illegal transaction, similar to sales of any other prescription drug.

Stressman said the ordinance was, “egregious and simply poorly thought out.”

However, Stressman said he understands his role and that it is his responsibility to adhere to the actions of the board. He merely shared his feelings on the matter and realizes his duty to serve the community, stating, “If that’s what the community wants, that’s the way it is.”

 

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Waltz steps down from Historical District Commission

By Harrison Thrasher

The Mason Times

After being elected to City Council and then mayor, Michael Waltz has resigned from Mason’s historical district commission.

Waltz not only had to submit a letter of resignation, but also had to bring it to City Council’s attention during the meeting on Feb. 16. Waltz explained the process of a public official resigning, but did acknowledge one step he believed to be unnecessary in this case. Waltz, with the approval of his fellow council members, did not take the trouble of writing a letter addressed to the mayor (himself).

“As mayor, I already knew I was resigning so it seemed kind of redundant to do that,” chuckled Waltz.

Waltz instead submitted a letter to historical district Commissioner David E. Haywood out of courtesy.

The purpose of Waltz bringing his resignation to the attention of the council was to appoint a new member for the historical district commission to fill the vacancy. With Waltz’s recommendation, Rita Vogel, a resident of Mason, was selected to fill the vacancy.
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Mason cotillion ball scheduled for Oct. 3

By Maria Braganini 

The Mason Times

Rita Vogel announced plans for a Sesquicentennial Cotillion Ball scheduled Oct. 3 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds at the Mason City Hall meeting on Monday evening.

Mason will have Sesquicentennial Cotillion Ball at the Ingham County Fairground on Oct. 3, said Councilwoman Rita Vogel at the Feb. 10 City Council Meeting.

The Cotillion Ball is 1865 inspired with faces of history and role playing, Vogel said.

Vogel envisions an elegant ball in the style of the 1865 time period.

The Cotillion Ball will be open to all ages, allowing for the entire town to celebrate its accomplishments and history, Vogel said.
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History lessons proposed for sesquicentennial event

Rick Brown presented medallion outline at Mason City Hall meeting on Monday evening to commemorate the city Sesquicentennial.

Rick Brown presented medallion outline at Mason City Hall meeting on Monday evening to commemorate the city Sesquicentennial.

By Maria Braganini 

The Mason Times

Creator of HistoryBuff.com Rick Brown  proposed a plan at the Mason City Hall meeting on Monday Feb. 9 for historical presentations at the Mason Township Sesquicentennial celebration.

After creating HistoryBuff.com for historical reference in October 1993, Brown has more than 20 years experience with historical presentations.

The website, HistoryBuff.com, provides historical articles ranging from over 200 different events beginning in the early 1700s.

Twelve years later, in 2005, Brown received nonprofit status for HistoryBuff.com. Today the website has more than four gigabytes of historical documents.

Brown’s interest in history began as a hobby when he was a junior in high school.

At first Brown felt indifferent about history. His interest changed when he saw an advertisement for a presidents catalog highlighting Lincoln’s death 100 years prior. Brown describes the magazine as a collection of primary sources.
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Combined council meeting discusses future for medical marijuana

Caitlin Taylor
The Mason Times

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At the joint council meeting on Feb. 10, the Mason planning commission and City Council determined that an ordinance, rather than a moratorium renewal, will be written for the upcoming 2014 medical marijuana moratorium expiration.

The 180-day moratorium was passed in November 2014 and is up for review. It is one of several moratoriums passed since 2010 regarding the medicinal uses for marijuana. For that reason, it was a nearly unanimous decision to take action on the upcoming deadline, for the planning commission and council members did not want to extend the motion yet again.

“One thing I don’t want to hear outside of this room or even inside of this room is that we’ve been kicking the can for two years, because that’s not true,” said Ed Resser, planning commission chair. “We have had laws that have changed. It’s been a moving target, and we’ve had people who have put a lot of hours into working on this.”

Originally, the moratorium was passed as an emergency response, nipping the possibility of opening marijuana dispensaries in Mason. Even still, this is something planning and council agree upon; a dispensary in downtown Mason may not be what is in the best interest for the community.
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Holiday Craft Show returns

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

For the 16th consecutive year on Nov. 13, right around deer season, the Ingham County Fairgrounds hosted the Mason Holiday Craft Show.

Gladys Welker, the founder of the Mason Holiday Craft Show is hoping for another successful year, with her now having new crafters to take part in the show.

“Well some friends of mine, and people I know as crafters always wanted to have a show for our different work, so we got together and created this,” said Welker. “At my booth I have quilts, sewing stuff along with different pies.”
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Good Morning, Mason

By Shane Stockwell
The Mason Times

The city of Mason had one of its most successful turnouts at “Good Morning, Mason” October 30, said Kathy Morse, co-owner of Mason Today. This event was created for local businesses to network and help build the community bond between companies. The agenda included: Mason Area Chamber, Ingham County Public Safety, Mason Area Schools, and many other topics.

“Good Morning, Mason meets six times a year and provides an opportunity for local business owners and workers to get to meet one another and inform each other on new ideas or business opportunities,” said Doug Klein, executive director of Mason Area Chamber of Commerce.
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Giving back to those who give

By Emily Hummel
The Mason Times

Three Mason firefighters were recognized on Oct. 6 for rescuing a woman from a burning building.

Firefighters Jacob Meyers, Josh Woodland and Scott Davidson accept their plaques from Mayor Leon Clark.

Firefighters Jacob Meyers, Josh Woodland and Scott Davidson accept their plaques from Mayor Leon Clark.

At the City Council meeting, firefighters Scott Davidson, Jacob Meyers and Joshua Woodland were asked to accept plaques describing their heroic feat. Mayor Leon Clark presented each plaque to them. Along with the plaque, they were each given a day of the year that Mason would recognize.

“Even though the three of us were the ones that went into the building, it takes a whole team of people outside to make it happen. I think that It was humbling to get the recognition but really the entire fire department deserves recognition for doing what we did that night,” said firefighter Jacob Meyers.
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Swallowtail Farm open through winter

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

With the hot summer days behind us, Swallowtail Farm of Mason isn’t going to let the upcoming cold weather put a damper on its business. After becoming certified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture to begin production of preserves for distribution last year, Swallowtail decided to add a large hoop house to extend its growing seasons.

Co-Owner Anne Rauschuer assorting through greens

Swallowtail, known for its U-pick raspberries plans on having a selection of salad greens including lettuce, spinach, pepper, Asian greens, baby kale, cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, butternut squash and even eggs for the winter. All vegetables are free of synthetic chemicals

Pumpkins come in various sizes for all carving, decorating and eating needs, with prices ranging between $2 and $5. Butternut squash is 50 cents a pound.  All greens are $3 a bag with bags weighing between one-third of a pound and one-half of a pound.

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Drocha, Waltz, Brown elected

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

Although it was projected to rain, that did not stop voters from getting out to City Hall and voting.

“I’ve been working the polls before President Obama’s first election and this seems to be the second biggest turnout including the presidential elections,” said Christine McElhone.

Final unofficial results for the Mason City Council showed that Marlon Brown and Jon Droscha will return to council for another term. Mike Waltz, who held a seat from 2007-2012, will rejoin council.

Of 6,077 votes, Droscha came in first, accounting for 1,341 of the votes. Mike Waltz was second with 1,258 and Brown was third with 1,165 votes. Rita Vogel received 903, Angela Madden had 716 and Jeffrey Wiggins received 694.
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