UKIAH — Mendocino County Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse, who last attended a Supervisors’ meeting on August 30, dropped by a General Government Standing Committee meeting focusing on cannabis business licensing on Monday afternoon, Oct. 17. He did not directly participate in the meeting, staying in the audience without speaking. He did, however, express frustration with the process of cannabis regulation, while speaking outside the building.
Attendees of the October 4 Board of Supervisors meeting heard an announcement that Woodhouse would be returning November 3, but Woodhouse stated more recently that he would attend the full Supervisors’ meeting tomorrow, Oct 18.
The General Government Standing Committee consists of First District Supervisor Carre Brown and Fourth District Supervisor Dan Gjerde. The meeting began at 1:30pm. The committee discussed recommendations for a draft of an ordinance that would establish cannabis business licenses and zoning rules, and the county’s state legislative platform. Woodhouse stayed briefly, then left the room at around 2:00pm.
After leaving, Woodhouse approached a reporter for the Mendocino Voice and expressed frustration with the ongoing discussions about cannabis policy, saying he plans to leave the room when the subject comes up again. Asked if he planned to recuse himself from cannabis decisions, as is Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s practice, Woodhouse said no. “I’m just going to walk out,” he repeated. He added that he would speak with County Counsel Katherine Elliott about his options. With Woodhouse absent and Hamburg recusing himself, recent important votes on marijuana policy have been made by a necessarily unanimous vote of the remaining Supervisors Gjerde, Brown, and John McCowen.
Woodhouse, who has missed four consecutive meetings, stated that prior to his absences, he attended 40 meetings in a row. He added that he may skip a meeting every few months, “just to get some clarity,” but will announce it next time. He said that he is always available to his constituents in the Third District, many of whom have his personal cell phone number, but that “it’s just a feeding frenzy down here.”