How Plymouth's Commission Candidates Tackle the Marijuana Question

September 29th, 2023 Legislation & Policy Updates
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As Plymouth gears up for its City Commission elections on November 7th, the discussion surrounding marijuana dispensaries has taken center stage for many candidates. With seven candidates running for four available seats, the direction Plymouth will take regarding cannabis is undoubtedly going to be influenced by this election.

Ron Picard: Picard grew up in Westland, moving to Plymouth in 2010. With a background in computer engineering, he's presently a software developer. Picard's campaign paints a picture of a lifelong commitment to community involvement, notably coaching and leadership roles in churches and community choirs. The potential opening of marijuana dispensaries in Plymouth has become a significant concern for him. He warns of out-of-town groups influencing local policies, particularly referring to ballot proposals that might enable marijuana drive-thrus in Plymouth. Picard's approach promises transparency, citizen representation, and a proactive response to any potential drawbacks the dispensaries could bring to Plymouth.

Catherine Coburn: A Plymouth resident and mother, Coburn offers a unique perspective, emphasizing the preservation of Plymouth's charm and community spirit. She has voiced a firm stance against marijuana dispensaries. Drawing from her experiences as a mother and a three-decade-long career in the hospitality industry, Coburn asserts that dispensaries don't belong in Plymouth's downtown, or the city at large. She fears that the easy access to marijuana might endanger Plymouth's family-friendly atmosphere and poses risks the city should not take.

The Broader Context

While the marijuana debate is undoubtedly salient, it's worth noting where other candidates stand on various issues, as these too will shape Plymouth's future.

Suzi Deal is a seasoned Plymouth figure, finishing her eighth year on the city commission. She emphasizes the importance of Plymouth's uniqueness and the need for evolution. Her vision seeks to combine a deep understanding of local government with leadership skills to champion Plymouth's growth.

Linda Filipczak, with a career in nursing and philanthropy, stresses the importance of historical preservation while simultaneously advocating for progress. She aims to represent citizens and business owners faithfully, focusing on the delicate balance of embracing history while enabling forward improvement.

Brock Minton, relatively newer to Plymouth, emphasizes his background in the steel industry, asserting that it equips him with the ethical code and collaboration skills necessary for a city commissioner role. While Minton's perspective on cannabis wasn't explicit, he's voiced strong support for Prop 1, focusing on the expansion of Plymouth's recreation department and the improvement of local parks.

Kelly O'Donnell emphasizes the importance of Plymouth's parks and recreation system, recognizing its central role in the community's lifestyle. Though her stance on cannabis hasn't been prominently addressed, her vision for Plymouth includes updating parks and executing the 2024 master plan for a shared community vision.

Josh Rimatzki, a younger candidate, focuses on Plymouth's infrastructure, especially the sustainability of assets like parking structures. He envisions a proactive approach, working collaboratively with other city departments to provide long-term solutions.

Final Thoughts

Plymouth's City Commission elections promise to shape the city's future, with the cannabis issue being at the forefront of debates. As residents decide their next representatives, they'll be choosing the path Plymouth takes on marijuana and various other pressing issues. It will be a pivotal moment for the city, determining how it evolves and addresses its challenges in the coming years.

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