OWOSSO MAYOR CHRIS EVELETH has officially been in service with the Owosso City Council for a full decade. The above photo is from the Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 swearing-in ceremony in council chambers. At this juncture, Eveleth was sworn in as Owosso’s mayor pro tem by Owosso City Clerk Amy Kirkland, just after being unanimously elected by council members during the organizational meeting. Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick watched the proceeding.
Eveleth had already previously served as a council member at the time.
During the Monday evening, May 6 council meeting, Eveleth shared that it has been a privilege to serve the community and highlighted the numerous positive changes he has witnessed over the last ten years.
Factoring in the full ten years of service, many people may not realize that Owosso City Council members are not, in fact, paid city staff – they are elected. That stated, council members are granted a stipend of $10 per council meeting, with the mayor receiving $10 per meeting plus $120 more per every six-month period ($240 yearly). On average, city council members invest multiple hours of personal time into research for each and every meeting. They also contribute their time and effort to holding multiple board positions within the council and attending and supporting numerous community activities and events – at their own expense.
It should be noted that several council members have opted to donate their stipend back into the budget.
Holding an elected position on the Owosso City Council is, importantly, a community service job.
(Independent File Photo/Bill Constine)
A public hearing was held during the Owosso City Council meeting on Monday, May 6 regarding a proposed amendment to update the city ordinance to “reflect changes in state law” related to the consumption of marijuana in public places. After the November 2018 voter approval allowing recreational marijuana use, municipalities across the state have been placed in the position to modify local ordinances in an attempt to correlate with what is at both state and federal levels on the marijuana issue – an ongoing and evolutionary process.
The Monday evening public hearing was regarding the “Nuisances” portion of the city ordinance, previously prohibiting the possession of marijuana and marijuana related paraphernalia. The suggested adjustments to the “Nuisances” portion eliminated the definition of a “marijuana or hashish pipe,” listed under drug paraphernalia. In other words, hashish pipes would no longer be prohibited. Cocaine spoons, controlled substances and other drug paraphernalia already listed under “Nuisances” will remain prohibited – as it already is and in accordance to what is happening at the state level.
Another change directly involved the possession and use of marijuana. That section of the ordinance was repealed to accommodate the November 2018 vote – and current state legislation, now allowing recreational marijuana use, minus the possibility of being punished with a misdemeanor or more.
To clarify, possession and use of marijuana must follow the law/ordinance, must not be transferred (including marijuana accessories) to any person under 21, and is still illegal for anyone under 21 to consume or obtain. Also, it can’t be “separated” by “butane extraction or another method” in any “public space, motor vehicle, or within the curtilage of any residential structure,” and consuming marijuana or concentrates is not allowed in public places such as streets, sidewalks, public buildings, etc. Simply put, don’t consume marijuana and drive (off or on-road or water), don’t smoke marijuana where prohibited by a property owner/manager, don’t consume at a private or public school (or related function) and possession of more than 2.5 ounces is generally not allowed, minus proper security efforts.
Interested persons may purchase or inspect the full ordinance via the city clerk’s office at the Owosso City Hall.
The next city council meeting is planned for Monday, May 20.