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Outlawing ‘spice’ is now on River Heights’ table

October 20th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Megan Allen

RIVER HEIGHTS–River Heights is the latest city in Cache Valley to begin discussion on banning “spice,” the synthetic marijuana substitute drug.

Council members Kathryn Hadfield and Blake Wright recently attended the Summit for Families, sponsored by the Cache County Sherriff’s Office. At the conference, each city was asked by CCSO to consider joining the county, Logan city and the Bear River Health Department in banning the manufacture, sale, and use of the substance.

“People say it is a substitute for marijuana, but studies are showing it is much more addictive than that,” Hadfield said.

The county has already noticed a drastic decrease in emergency room visits for spice-related things since making it illegal, she said.

The council is going to put together information and work toward passing an ordinance and will then hold a public hearing before it becomes an official law.

The Summit for Families also talked a lot about drug and alcohol use, gang activity, and pornography issues in Cache County. “They’re really working to try and protect the family,” Hadfield said.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Hadfield and Councilwoman Francine Davis presented information comparing council and mayors’ salaries throughout Cache Valley. The council discussed if there was a need to increase anyone’s salary. Members of River Heights City Council make about the same comparatively to similar sized cities in the valley.

Salaries are based on the population of the city, the amount of commercialism in the town, and how often the council meets. If council members end up making it more of a full-time job, like Logan city officials, other benefits may be included in their salaries.

“I think we as a council make enough,” Davis said, “but I think the mayor deserves a raise.”

Mayor Bill Baker disagreed. “I’m fine,” he said. “People are hurting all over the place, we don’t need to raise my pay.”

Jim Brackner, city treasurer, announced he is stepping down. “I have taken on other responsibilities that don’t leave me time to do this job the best I can,” he said. The city has placed ads in the paper announcing the open position. Brackner will select his replacement and train him or her before relinquishing his position.

The next city council meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 26.

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