The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors officially named John Gioia its chairperson for the seventh time on Tuesday while welcoming former Pleasant Hill City Councilmember Ken Carlson to the board.

Federal Glover will serve as the board vice chairperson for the second straight year. Newly elected county Clerk-Recorder Kristin Connelly also officially took office.

Carlson, a former Concord police officer, replaces former chairperson Karen Mitchoff, who retired. Carlson won the election for the District 4 seat, which represents most of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord and nearby unincorporated areas.

After both took the oath of office, Gioia welcomed Carlson.

“I want to welcome the historic occasion of our newest member Ken Carlson, who is our first LGBT+ board member,” Gioia said. “About time, right Ken?”

Carlson said “it’s a great honor” to take Mitchoff’s place on the board. Mitchoff is also a former member of the Pleasant Hill City Council.

“I just want to throw my thanks to her as well, for her years of service to our country and our communities,” Carlson said. “It’s a high bar and I look forward to meeting it.”

Getting down to business

The board did get some business done before breaking for its annual reorganization luncheon. The board officially passed an ordinance allowing the sale and delivery of non-flavored cannabis vaping products in unincorporated areas. The ordinance also directed Contra Costa Health Services to work with the cannabis industry to develop a program to raise awareness about the dangers of cannabis to youth and curtail the illegal market.

The board first took up the proposal in December but voted again Tuesday to make it official. In both cases the vote was 3-2, with Glover and Supervisor Candace Andersen dissenting.

The new ordinance won’t affect the county’s ban on flavored vaping products, enacted in November 2019. It also included flavored tobacco products, and menthol cigarettes. The ordinance previously prohibited the sale or delivery of cannabis vaping products.

County supervisors in 2018 passed an ordinance regulating commercial cannabis activities and establishing standards for sale and delivery while requiring anyone engaged in commercial cannabis activities or deliveries to obtain a county health permit, as well as other permits required by the county and state.

Many Contra Costa cities already allow recreation cannabis vaping product sales.