The Wickliffe City Council has passed a resolution publicly voicing their majority opposition to new marijuana guidelines issued to the city’s chief of police from Mayor John Barbish.
The Mayor has issued a directive to the chief of police for Wickliffe, Randy Ice, which states that there are to be no arrests, citation for amounts of marijuana deemed for personal use. While this is in contradiction to standing state and federal laws regarding the drug, the Mayor has ability to issue directives for his chief of police to follow.
This is not the first time that council and the Mayor were found at odds over the issue. The decision to shift towards a “no fine, no time” policy has been challenged at previous meetings, most vocally by councilmembers Maria Salotto and Joseph Sakacs.
“This is an acknowledgement to the residents that council, at least the ones who vote ‘yes’, are against the directive given to the police chief by the Mayor/Safety Director.” Councilperson Sakacs stated during the meeting. “I receive many phone calls from residents why we haven’t done something, seeing that it was state law. As safety director (Scott Zele) was unable to make the call so this just puts it on record that we disagree with this.”
Councilperson Salotto agreed with Sakacs that she too has received multiple complaints. “It is very disturbing to many of the citizens of the city, and that is why we want to at least, those of us who believe this decision should not have been made, we should make that a statement for the record,” she said.
The Mayor responded at the meeting by first quoting Winston Churchill before stating that it was a “ridiculous resolution” and that Sakacs was “grandstanding.” He also refuted the claim that numerous residents were calling to complain.
“I believe that is a lie,” The Mayor answered in response to Sakacs statement.
The resolution passed 5 to 1 with Councilmember Bogo not present and Councilmember Jason Biondolillo voting as the sole ‘nay’ vote.