BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Bakersfield City Council made a major decision Wednesday evening about who will manage Rabobank Arena and other local venues.
Council members also heard from a local attorney who wants the city to pass a law, governing pot shops.
Attorney Phil Ganong is asking the city to consider an ordinance that is tough on pot shops. He wants to weed out shops, he believes aren't doing business legally.
The City of Bakersfield currently has no ordinance on pot shops, but it does have a resolution that does not permit them.
Ganong went before the council members to push the city to set up rules that would allow legal collectives in Bakersfield.
"I think that qualified patients who are citizens of Bakersfield deserve safe and affordable access to medicinal cannabis, which is what the 1996 initiative that was approved by the people of California is to guarantee. So this ordinance is to lay down some strict guidelines to separate the men from the boys, or the ladies from the little girls, or better yet the legal from the illegal associations," said Ganong.
The final draft Ganong is working on, has not been sent to the city council yet.
Another hot ticket item at the council meeting was the management contract for Rabobank Arena, the amphitheater and other venues the city owns.
Since 2000, SMG has managed them, but its contract is up June 30th.
In a unanimous decision, the council voted to turn those duties over to AEG.
"AEG owns the world's second largest concert promotion and sports entertainment booking firm. Many of the concerts currently booked at our venue are promoted by AEG," said Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy.
Tandy says we could see bigger names stopping in Bakersfield as a result of the change.
All of the city's venues combined, generally operate at a loss. In the past, up to $700,000 in losses.
But, the new contract will limit losses for the city to $415,000 per year.
AEG also pledged money to help improve the venues and areas directly around them for a better experience for concert goers.
The city council also approved $200,000 to complete the splash pad at Siemon Park. That project should be completed just in time for summer.