Retail sale of recreational marijuana was the main topic of interest when the Palisade Board of Trustees got together Tuesday evening, May 24, for their regular bi-monthly meeting. All trustees were present for the discussion, focusing mainly on the procedural question of how to present the issue to the public for their decision in November.

Trustees, as well as town staff members, have been approached by citizens that want the question on the fall ballot. Mayor Pro-tem David Edwards requested that “the wording should come from the Town of Palisade, not from a citizens’ initiative.”

This means that if the Town initiates the ballot question, language that will be easiest to legislate and enforce by the local police and judicial system, as well as to deal with the revenue issues, can be considered. On the other hand, if citizens mount a petition drive to put the question on the ballot, they will be able to decide the wording of the initiative, not necessarily in the best interests of the Town of Palisade.

Mayor Roger Granat voiced his opinion on the subject, saying that he “thinks the citizens should be able to decide” on an issue of this importance (recreational marijuana sales) while agreeing that the Town should write the content of the ballot question.

Legalizing sale of recreational marijuana was very narrowly defeated the last time it was put to voters in 2014, with only a few votes separating the two sides. Two years later, there is now more information available on how marijuana sales are affecting communities, both positively and negatively, and there appears to be community interest in revisiting the question.

Asked if the board could direct the revenue from marijuana income to any particular fund or set of expenses, Town Administrator Rich Sales answered that the money usually goes into the General Fund instead, and funds can then be appropriated to pay for whatever is important to the Town at the time.

Trustees agreed unanimously to let Sales and Town Attorney Ed Sands come up with some draft language to consider before deciding on wording for the ballot question. Sales will prepare a resolution for Board approval at a June meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Broadband in Palisade?

Trustees also discussed Colorado Senate Bill 05-152 regarding the participation of municipal governments in providing broadband internet service to town businesses and citizens. Though the town is currently prohibited from participating, a vote of the citizens can overturn Bill 05-152, enacted in 2005. There was a move in the Colorado Senate in their recent session to overturn the bill, but it did not pass. Therefore, in order for the Town of Palisade to participate in obtaining high-speed service, the citizens must vote to overturn the bill.

Although the measure is now dead in the Colorado legislature, Sales was asked to draft a letter in support of overturning the bill, should it be brought up again. Sales also notes that several towns in Colorado have already voted to overturn the Senate bill.

Mayor Granat is very much in favor of town participation in routing the service into Palisade, and Trustee Susan L’Hommedieu agreed, saying “It’s a good first step to attracting businesses to Palisade.”

Call for more Bluegrass Volunteers

Volunteers are still needed for the upcoming Bluegrass and Roots Festival on June 10 – 12 in Riverbend Park. This is the seventh annual Bluegrass gathering, and as the festival grows, so does the need for additional volunteers.

A four-hour shift will earn the volunteer a day pass to the festival, and two shifts earn a weekend pass. It’s a fun, family-friendly event built around great bluegrass music. Please call Town Hall (970 464-5602) for more information on volunteering.

Palisade Art Vision kicks off public art program

Juliann Adams, Executive Director of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce and member of the Palisade Art Vision (PAV) committee, announced the upcoming unveiling on Main Street of the first four PAV pieces of public art. An early morning gathering at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, will set the first four pieces of artwork onto the specially constructed pedestals on Main Street, near 3rd Street. A VIP reception for the artists will take place at 4:30 p.m. with the public unveiling of the art at 5 p.m.

New Full-Time Police Officer

Jaeda Cannizzaro has been serving as one of Palisade’s reserve police officers since being introduced to trustees in February. She was working with District 51 school security when she initially joined the force in a part-time capacity and has now been assigned to a seasonal full-time position.

As Police Chief Deb Funston explained to trustees at the May 24 meeting, Jaeda is truly concerned for the citizens and Town of Palisade, having grown up here herself. A graduate of Taylor Elementary, Mt. Garfield Middle School and Palisade High School, Jaeda has also worked in her family’s orchards and Family Foodtown before learning how to bake at Mary Lincoln’s Slice O’Life Bakery. She is now married with four children and thought that Palisade would be a pretty good place for them to grow up too. It would be hard to be more local than Jaeda!

Meeting date change

The trustees agreed to move the regularly scheduled meeting of June 14 to June 7, due to scheduling of the Bluegrass Festival for the weekend of June 10 – 12, and the level of town staff participation in the operation of the festival. So, the next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, June 7, at 6:00 p.m. in the meeting room of the Civic Center at 341 West 7th Street. All meetings are open to the public.

The trustees also scheduled a retreat for general discussion on Tuesday, June 14, 5 p.m., in the meeting room.