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Re: “Pot Tax

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Re: “Dare to Dream

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Posted by Barclays Loan service on 03/12/2017 at 12:22 AM

Re: “March 10: Rage in a Cage in Petaluma

Such a great example of life in Trump's America. The entire show is about tough-talking men acting like methed-out animals in a cage, spinning bullshit, shouting insults, and fake-fighting. As with Trump, it isn't so much surprising that it exists as it is that people actually find it compelling.

Posted by Old Leapheart on 03/11/2017 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Threet's Beat

"Sonoma County law enforcers are notorious for....and violation of civil rights. There is a pressing need for independent investigations of police misconduct. "
Very true, there is a serious problem of culture within the sheriff's organization, a problem of attitude, arrogance and contempt for citizens' civil rights. I don't know about Threet's "audit" process, but he here discloses he is not considering complaints of more than one year old. He would do well to look at more complaints including older ones and look for patterns of abuse. I filed a written complaint myself and was completely dissatisfied with the "acted appropriately" finding, or whatever they called it. Would have filed another regarding a separate encounter with a different deputy for similar reasons but knowing it would be a waste of time didn't bother.

Posted by MHilber on 03/07/2017 at 11:36 PM

Re: “Threet's Beat

Peter Byrnes Open Mic column raised the legitimate question of whether the newly created Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) is worth the money necessary to run it. Of course, these questions were discussed at length in multiple public forums by county officials and community members for over a year, the public largely supported the proposal, and county supervisors approved the model creating our office. Byrne now again raises this issue, but in a way that distorts the facts we provided him.

IOLERO has a total budget of $527,335. Approximately 75% of the budget is made up of salaries and benefits of the agencys two employees, the Director and Administrative Coordinator. My salary as Director is around $160K, plus benefits, for a total of about $263K in compensation. My assistants salary is approximately $63K, plus benefits, for a total of about $122K in compensation. Because the IOLERO Director is required to be an attorney, the compensation for that position is commensurate with public attorney salaries. In accepting this position, I took a salary cut from the $180K I previously received as a Deputy City Attorney. I did so because I believe this is important work.

The remaining $130K includes support services and supplies, which account for 25% of the budget. More than the refreshments mentioned by Byrne, this covers rents/utilities, advertising and marketing, translations services, professional memberships, conferences (such as the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement), software licenses, business travel, etc. This also includes about $40K for the possible relocation of our office, which we have decided against spending in order to preserve continuity of the current location and save money.

Byrne asks what you are getting for this money, and focuses on my decision to forgo additional review of the Andy Lopez shooting. Ill turn to that in a minute. First, lets look at what our office has been doing. When I started last April, I began to set up an entirely new department from scratch, including a work plan, websites, social media, office procedures, audit protocols, hiring an assistant, meetings with stakeholders, and outreach to communities. From April until July of 2016, those start-up tasks took all of my time, but by August of last year, we were fully staffed, and up and running. So, what are our missions?

First, we provide independent civilian review of investigations of complaints against Sheriffs Deputies. Since August of 2016, we have 25 such investigations in our log, 15 of which have been completed by the Sheriff's Office and referred to IOLERO for review. Of those 15, we have completed 8 audits. 3 of these audits resulted in recommended changes to Sheriffs policies. In 6 of them, IOLERO agreed with the findings of the investigation exonerating the deputy of wrongdoing. In 2 of them, IOLERO disagreed with the finding of exonerated. While our office has no authority to impose a contrary finding on a complaint investigation, neither do most civilian oversight agencies in the country.

Second, we conduct robust outreach to Sonoma County communities, to bring community feedback back to the Sheriffs Office and to help explain Sheriffs policies to community members. We also try to bridge gaps where they exist. I've had over 100 meetings and met with many hundreds of community members since last April, including most recently close to 200 members of the undocumented immigrant community in small settings, hearing their concerns and explaining Sheriffs policies that may affect them. We have an 11 member Community Advisory Council that holds meetings to review policies and recommend changes. Our current focus is on immigration policies of the Sheriffs Office. Both the CAC and I will soon be making formal recommendations for changes in the Sheriffs policies in this area. We will then turn to review other policies, such a body worn cameras, and use of force. The most important opportunity to change law enforcement interactions that the public wants improved is through changes in the policies that guide deputy actions.

Finally, Byrne correctly states that I declined to review the Lopez shooting, but significantly misrepresents my explanation. IOLERO's general policy is not to audit completed investigations over 1 year old, as the statute of limitations has passed on any possible discipline for the deputy for any violation of policy. In addition, the Lopez shooting was independently reviewed by the District Attorney and by the U.S. Department of Justice, both of which cleared the deputy of a wrongdoing. Finally, the Lopez case is being litigated in federal civil court, where the issue of whether the deputy followed policy is being fully explored by an independent magistrate. Give these multiple reviews, and the passage of the statute of limitations on discipline for the deputy, there is little a review by our office could add at this late juncture. Because there are other investigation currently pending in our log where our review could make a difference, it makes little sense to focus our limited resources on the 2013 Lopez shooting.

Sincerely,
Jerry Threet
Director, IOLERO

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jerry Threet on 03/03/2017 at 11:04 AM

Re: “No Way on 'A'

If the tax fails there will still be increased pressure to crack down on illegal growing in residential areas. It's not as if voting no will give growers in rural residential areas continued free rein. Maybe you should think twice before voting no.

Posted by MHilber on 03/01/2017 at 4:53 PM

Re: “No Way on 'A'

As someone who has been in the industry for many years- and currently operates several hundred square feet below the "cottage level" cutoff (ie- under 2500 sq ft hoophouse), I couldn't disagree with you more.

The SoCo taxes as proposed to start are better then any of the other legal states. Worse then Humboldt- better then what has been proposed or passed anywhere south or east of here. Yes the "up to" 10% is scary. But this is a process in a process- the county, for those that have been involved in the process- clearly wants to support small operators and not kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Welcome to the real world or regulation, taxes, osha, labor boards, etc, etc.

Guess what? We are finally being handed a legal and regulated industry. Scary, yes. Expensive, yes. But we also escape living in a world where what we do is unauthorized...illegal...but we have a "legal defense" of sorts when busted.

Yep- many of us are going to have scale up considerably. But we will have the freedom to do so without fear of Henry 1's flights twice a year. And yep- a lot of players- both small and large...are pretty much done. If you can't produce a product that is good enough for the CA market your days ave very numbered. So be it- these are the people who have created much of the environmental, worker, and criminal abuses in our region.

Maybe you should have explained to people that without a tax in place the county doesn't issue permits. Without county permits you can't get a state permit. Meaning the cannabis industry in SoCo could become completely illegal for 1-2years++. Under a federal administration itching to screw the cannabis industry, and CA in particular.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by StaggerLee on 02/26/2017 at 4:47 PM

Re: “No Way on 'A'

It was surprising that there was no opposing argument on the ballot, and I assumed it was because there were no objections - that this was county business as usual. Thank you for this article, it makes the whole issue a lot clearer: especially that this tax will make it almost impossible for small growers.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by leslie 2 on 02/22/2017 at 10:41 PM

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