The Dixon City Council met on Tuesday night to consider action against Vice Mayor Ted Hickman in retaliation for Hickman using his city title in a column asking for a “Straight Pride American Month”. The contradictory logic of saying they were all for freedom of speech while attempting to regulate it, was lost on the four decision makers, Mayor Thom Bogue and Councilmen Steve Bird, Scott Pederson, and Devon Minnema.
Those in the audience representing the LGBTTQQ1+A groups expressed their displeasure that this was the most which could be done to the vice mayor. The resolution only called for the council to say they didn’t agree with what Hickman had wrote. Included in the resolution was direction to place a sign outside the council chambers saying everyone was welcome regardless sexual identity.
As the council was warned that any direct action taken against Hickman would end in a First Amendment lawsuit, most were aware this other action was the most which could be done. Again, out of town participants coming from Davis, called for Hickman’s resignation.
Hickman has pulled papers, his nomination certified, and will be running against planning commissioner Jim Ernest who has taken up the banner of the gay rights activists along with Scott Pederson who is running in the First District against former Councilman Michael Ceremello and newcomer James Ward.
The resolution was initially disapproved on a two to two vote because Bird and Bogue felt the signage was unnecessary. After Bogue stated he doesn’t welcome all, Pederson shot back “who would you exclude?” Bogue’s response was “pedophiles and Muslim’s practicing Sharia law.” Pederson retorted that he would welcome even those people.
Sole Source for City Banking Repealed
During the public hearing portion of the agenda, the council – at the request of Minnema – considered removing the stipulation that city banking be done only with a bank whose corporate headquarters were located in Dixon.
The obviousness of “sole source contracting” was pointed out by Minnema. The vote was 4 to 1 with Hickman dissenting to remove this requirement.
In other action, the council finally made the move to buy a “hot tar” machine as the initial step in maintaining and repairing city streets before they require total removal and re-paving. The cost of this machine and an air compressor was not to exceed $82,300.
Historic Bell Presented
A lengthy presentation on the Aculeo bell was given by Loran Hoffman of the Dixon Historical Society with additional commentary by the director of the Sutter Fort Indian Museum. Dixon’s former fire chief Bill Fairfield also provided additional background material about Dixon’s first firehouse bell.
Marijuana Growing Regulations
The final item considered was a second reading of a city ordinance governing regulation of marijuana plants grown on private property for either medical or recreational use.
After a discussion which proved no one knew exactly what was legal or proper or even what was included within the ordinance, the council voted to bring this back at a later date. Former councilman Dane Besneatte accused the city attorney, Doug White, of not knowing the entire law surrounding marijuana cultivation and specifically pointed out the differences permitted by various acts of State legislation.