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NT Council president wants a seat at the table

Thu, Feb 21st 2019 03:10 pm

NT Common Council supports ad hoc committee

As New York state moves closer to legalizing recreational marijuana use, the North Tonawanda City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution that supports Niagara County Legislator Jesse Gooch’s formation of an ad hoc committee which would examine the effects of legalizing marijuana.

Sponsored by Council President Eric Zadzilka, the resolution includes the recommendation of City Attorney Luke Brown to be an appointee to the county ad hoc committee.

“We support the decision by Legislator Gooch to create an ad hoc committee so that we can further educate our community on the economic benefits, such as tax revenues, economic development, and partnerships, versus the social risks that may follow,” said Zadzilka. “It is our hope that that Mr. Brown will be given a seat at the table and be our eyes and ears as he reports back to the council.” 

Currently the bill to legalize recreational marijuana use has hit some rough patches in Albany, but appears to be on-track for a vote by the state legislature in April. North Tonawanda Common Council members Donna Braun and Bob Pecoraro both jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on this joint effort to gather more information.

Braun cited her support for the resolution, and praised Brown as the perfect candidate to explore the pros and cons. 

“It is important to have someone knowledgeable who can recognize the impact on city government and the significance of the law,” said Braun.

Pecoraro criticized the state for wanting to ram legislation through without having all the facts. 

“The governor would like to push the legalization through despite opposition, but this committee is a great step to get the facts straight from the horse’s mouth,” said Pecoraro.

Zadzilka said he will draft a letter to Gooch, County Legislature Chairman Keith McNall, and County Legislature Majority Leader Randy Bradt on behalf of the Common Council to express their gratitude for creating this ad hoc committee and making a case for Brown to be an appointee.

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