GOLD HILL, Ore. — The Jackson County Elections Office is verifying a petition to recall four members of the Gold Hill City Council. The recall is being filed by a group opposed to the council’s decision of allowing a dispensary in town.
All four petitions have enough signatures to force a recall vote in the next 35 days, assuming those signatures are verified. But City Manager Rick Hohnbaum says even if a new council is elected with an intention of getting rid of dispensaries, it’s unlikely to have an impact.
Right now the city is zoned to support one dispensary. That business, Breeze Botanicals, has been granted a business license and has been operating for more than a month.
During the approval process, the city council made changes to their zoning and business license laws specifically to accommodate dispensaries. Hohnbaum says any council effort to disallow dispensaries would likely focus around undoing those changes.
But he says that would open the door to a legal process that has never been attempted before, and as a result would be extremely uncertain and expensive.
“It would not be a cheap process to try to go back and undo or redo,” said Hohnbaum. “But then again, a council is empowered to do what a council is empowered to do.”
Hohnbaum says neither he, nor the city attorney, are preparing for the city to take action against dispensaries at this point.
The Jackson County Elections Office says they’ll have the signatures verified by the end of the week, which would likely mean a special election in Gold Hill in August.