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Councilwatch: Rudd heads for the exits, fireworks and marijuana under microscope

Fresno City Hall

Councilwatch: Rudd heads for the exits, fireworks and marijuana under microscope


The scuttlebutt at Fresno City Hall on Wednesday ran in three directions.

I see a connection, but maybe that’s because I’ve spent too many years at City Hall.

First, city officials were scratching their heads over the reaction among some media pundits to Tuesday night’s Fourth of July bedlam.

There’s nothing like some fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. But portions of my neighborhood near Bullard High School overdid the fun. The booms were shaking our living room windows well past 11 p.m.

I’m guessing the same could be said of neighborhoods throughout Fresno. Illegal fireworks must be easy for underground retailers to get. There must be a big market for illegal fireworks.

My sympathies are with Fresno’s police officers and firefighters.

I understand some critics with a soapbox want City Hall do something when July 4, 2018 rolls around. I don’t know how City Hall could effectively regulate the individual use of fireworks on that day. Fresno covers about 112 square miles and holds more than 500,000 people.

Second, a top city official tells me the next City Council meeting (July 20) could include a review of city policy on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The council on June 26 on a 4-3 vote approved the introduction of an ordinance banning recreational marijuana dispensaries in Fresno. The council most likely will vote on the adoption of this ordinance on July 20.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are already banned in Fresno.

Marijuana is always a hot topic in the Council Chamber. A formal debate on the pros and cons of medical marijuana dispensaries, and the challenges of effectively regulating the dispensaries should City Hall someday give them the green light, could be interpreted as a significant shift in official sentiment.

It’s hard to regulate illegal fireworks when people want them. It’s hard to regulate marijuana when people want it. Those are the facts of life, even though fireworks burn things and dope fries brains.

Third, City Manager Bruce Rudd has no need to worry about making sense of fireworks policy and marijuana policy. After more than 40 years of City of Fresno employment, Rudd retires on Friday.

I understand there will be an open house on Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. should anyone want to drop by City Hall and personally wish Rudd well.

Photo: The Fresno Bee

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George Hostetter

George Hostetter is a contributor to CVObserver.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dan Waterhouse

    July 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Where do I start? Let’s begin with medical marijuana. Marek of the Bee sorta embarrassed the city when he mentioned in a column there are eight storefront dispensaries and 40 delivery services operating within the city limits. The ban is, to all intent and purposes, non existent. No one is enforcing it. Rory Appleton and others connected with the Bee and other media outlets have been needling Garry Bredefeld and the other council members to a point that Garry revealed on social media he supports medical marijuana.

    Fireworks? Back in the ’90s, the then fire chief warned the council what would happen if they allowed any fireworks legally shot off in the city limits. Council ignored him and what he predicted has come to pass-an out of control city on the 4th where people have utter contempt for the law. A friend of mine reported injuries to children when a neighbor firing off illegal fireworks allowed them to fall over. The rockets went horizontal striking three kids. The neighbor’s response was “shit happens.” The illegal non safe and sane stuff is classified as a “destructive device” in the Penal Code and is a felony. Citations should not be written. People should be charged with felonies.

    Where is this crap coming from? Nevada mostly. From what I read on social media, the Latino community appears to be a major purveyor and consumer of the illegal stuff. Perhaps the Feds can move in and deal with this as in deporting the non citizens engaging in this dangerous behavior.

    I wish Bruce Rudd best wishes in retirement!

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