2020 Candidate Forum Q&A from Dot Jäger-Wentworth
1. Do you support cannabis manufacturing, distribution, and/or retail in Eureka?
Yes, I do.
a. What types of cannabis businesses currently operate in Eureka?
We have retail businesses, distributors, testing labs and manufacturers of both medical and recreational marijuana in the city limits of Eureka. There are also businesses like piping, electrical, and soils that are needed by the industry. Included in cannabis businesses are hydroponics, flowers, teas, tinctures, edibles, chocolates, salves and ointments for body aches and pains as well as the recreational smoking and lounges.
b. What are the pros and cons of the cannabis industry operating in Eureka?
On the pro side: We get an increased tax base. Marijuana is used in treatment of some addictions. It brings more jobs. The soil and amendment businesses benefit because indoor grows need soil. With legal marijuana, fewer migrating trimmers that that need medical and social services come to our area. Cannabis businesses are closely inspected by police and fire departments with strict enforcement of the law. They have cleaned up and rented or bought degraded and empty storefronts and industrial sites, a win for them and us. Cannabis businesses are replacing some lost logging and fishing industry jobs here so we benefit economically in that way also.
On the con side: There are odor concerns, light pollution in some areas, possible environmental hazards, unforeseen crime and burglary in neighboring businesses and inherent crime associated with the cannabis industry over decades.
2. What recommendations could you make to revitalize business in Eureka?
I would like to see the city do more of the type of incentives like they did with the street light at Vigo St. in which In-N-Out promises to increase sales tax over the next four years to equal the money spend by the city installing the light. They promised to make the city whole if sales tax lags.
a. What can the city do to help reduce commercial storefront vacancies?
My idea is for the city to create an empty store tax, so that property owners are taxed for the vacant buildings at three months, 6months and a year, increasing the rate, so eventually either the owner rents the property or sells it to someone who will use the building. Absentee owners or those who would rather see the building vacant than lower the rent would have to step up.
b. What outdoor projects in the city of Eureka do you support?
Although I am unable to hike and use the Hikshari trail, I support trails in general. I would like to see the gulch from Myrtle to Sequoia Park completed for walker, cyclists,and skaters to use. I would like the city to promote our area to the hotter inland areas for our parks, beaches, fishing and boating. Climate tourism will bring money to our area.
3. What is your position regarding the ongoing increases in the cost of city development fees and water rates?
We need to streamline the city building department to make building more affordable. I will ask questions when I am elected to verify the fees are justified, and look for ways to lower them if possible. I have heard too many complaints of obstruction for businesses that are trying to make their stores better.
a. If parking becomes a more significant challenge in the future, what solutions would you suggest helping alleviate the problem?
I don’t believe there is a parking problem. I think we have bigger priorities than parking to deal with right now.
b. What is your position regarding Sea Level Rise regulations?
This is not for us to worry about right now. The Bay is unchanged since I was a child and I don’t think this will change in the next 50 years.