City of Muskegon
City Commission Worksession
September 8, 2014
City Commission Chambers
Present: Commissioners Hood, Rinsema-Sybenga, Gawron, Johnson, Turnquist, and Spataro.
Absent: Commissioner German.
Discussion on a Proposed Marihuana Ordinance Revision.
Four changes were made to the proposed ordinance by recommendation of the Commission at
the last meeting and an additional statement was made to prohibit provision centers..
Commissioner Johnson asked whether the Commission supported a bi-annual renewal of the
license for those growing in their home. The Commissioners indicated they support an annual
license renewal as other businesses currently do.
Commissioner Hood asked what an inspection would include. It will include an administrative
inspection including HVAC, electrical, and plumbing inspection.
Commissioner Johnson suggested language be added to the ordinance to indicate times of
inspection. The language of regular inspections will take place between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. will be
added to the ordinance.
This item will be brought to the September 23, 2014 Commission Meeting.
Discussion on Moving Commission Election Dates to Even Years.
In December 2012 the Governor signed a bill into law that authorizes cities that hold odd-year
elections to move to the November general date by adoption of a resolution. The Election date
becomes effective after December 31st in the year in which the resolution is adopted.
If the Commission chooses, staff can draft a resolution for the Commission to consider at the
second meeting in September that would be extended by one year for all current Commissioners.
The cost savings could be as much as $35,000 every other year by eliminating a Primary and
General Election and also free staff time to work on special projects involving the City’s image,
licensing, and records management.
The City Clerk presented a list of the last 30 plus years of Elections that indicated the percentage
of voter turn-out. Odd year Election dates consistently indicate a 6% - 12% turn-out while an
even year Election date has a 35% - 55% turn-out.
Commissioner Johnson expressed concern at extending current terms by one year to
accommodate a new rotation in the Election cycle. He also stated it might deter some candidates
from seeking office if they were to be placed on an even year General ballot.
Several other Commissioners indicated the numbers consistently show voters prefer voting in an
even year and the desire to be on a ballot with more voter participation.
This proposal will be shared with the public and brought back to a November Commission
Motion by Commissioner Hood, seconded by Commissioner Johnson to adjourn at 6:54
Ann Marie Cummings, MMC