Fresno City Council and Board of Supervisors meeting focuses on marijuana and stray dog problems

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno City Council members and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors came together to find common ground on mutual problems. One of the biggest issues on their minds-- a need to come together for a ban on marijuana dispensaries, for both medicinal and recreational use.

"It makes no difference for there to be a policy on one side of the street substantially different on the other," said Andres Borgeas, Fresno County Supervisor.

City Attorney Doug Sloan confirmed the city is working to go along with the county on a complete ban.

"The ordinance we are working on right now in coordination with the county would just flat out say dispensaries are not allowed."

That did not sit well with several members of the audience.

"What these bans have done in Fresno over the last eight years is created a black market," said George Boyajian, Fresno.

After several outbursts calling the elected officials fascists, Ted Miller was escorted out of the chambers by security. But not all members of the city council are onboard with a complete ban.

"I do not support a medicinal ban, I certainly am open to dialogue about the recreational portion but I never have supported a medicinal ban. And Council President Clint Olivier thought the pronouncements on the evils of marijuana went too far," said Oliver Baines, Fresno City Council.

"I don't accept that marijuana is the gateway drug that some folks make it out to be, I think that's probably alcohol," said Clint Olivier, Fresno City Council President.

The county already bans all dispensaries; the city is expected to introduce a measure to do the same thing in a couple of weeks.

Another issue is animal control-- residents complained about stray dogs, and City Council members raised questions about the performance of the SPCA and their nearly $4 million a year bill.

"We approved $3.6 million-- that's a lot of money and I believe the residents deserve greater service," said Esmerelda Soria, Fresno City Council member.

The county has its own animal control service and both the city and county are now looking at coming together with one facility.

County Health Director Dave Pomaville noted more than 30,000 stray dogs and cats are rounded up in Fresno and other cities and throughout the, county every year.

Mayor Lee Brand is optimistic the city and county will start coming together on a variety of problems.
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