Thursday, September 16, 2010

Suthers under fire for MMJ comments

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Janet Suthers
  • Janet Suthers

Colorado Springs Planning Commissioner Janet Suthers — wife of Attorney General John Suthers — is coming under repeated fire for her e-mail to pastors and rabbis calling for the spacing requirement from MMJ centers to be increased to 1,000 feet, and include churches, synagogues and mosques.

"I am inviting you to attend this public meeting and make your preferences known to the Planning Commission," Suthers writes. "If you cannot attend, a verbal statement from another leader in your organization to the Commission would be valuable in helping the Commission make a good decision. An e-mail to Dick Anderwald, Planning and Development manager, would also be useful."

Springs resident Chris Carlton copied the Indy on an e-mail he sent to the entire City Council, plus a myriad of other city officials, saying, "This letter is to demand the immediate removal of Janet Suthers from her appointed position as City Planning Commissioner due to her flagrant ethical violations.

"With her back-room, hatred inciting, politicking, Janet has abused her position and engaged in conduct that not only 'violates the appearance of impropriety' imposed by City Code, but also violates actual propriety."

Additionally, the Gazette reported a letter from Rick Wehner to Anderwald calling for the same thing: "I am sure that Mrs. Suthers sees nothing more inappropriate in her email to influence a decision on a committee she sits on anymore than did Mrs. Doran when she refused to see a conflict sitting on the ethics panel investigating Mr. Rivera. However, I would certainly deem it in the public interest that you ask this woman to resign."

Lastly, Tanya Garduno of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council weighed-in: "We have tons of patients that worship and put their faith in their religion and their churches support them. This is not coming from them but from a person set on getting rid of all MMJ centers in the city."

"We must be there [at the Planning Commission meeting] to show her, and the opposition, that we will fight this new attempt to zone us out of Colorado Springs."

During today's meeting, fellow Commissioner Carla Hartsell came to Suthers' defense: "She wasn’t asking people to vote a certain way, she was looking for participation. As long as she wasn’t urging people to vote a certain way, it was a way to get people to give us more information.

"I agree. I think we have broadened the base of input."

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