Proposed smoking ordinance withdrawn

Council meting

The council chambers emptied quickly after Mayor O'Neal and the other ordinance sponsors withdrew their proposal Monday.

The four sponsors of a proposed ordinance to ban smoking in public places withdrew their proposal Monday night after an amendment was added to exempt several organizations.

Councilman Nick Ibarra proposed an amendment that would have exempted benevolent fraternal organizations such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was approved by a 5-4 vote, with original bill sponsors Mayor Jim O’Neal, Dan Chiles, John Rush, and Cindy Rushefsky voting against the addition.

As a result, Carrie Reynolds, co-chair of the One Air Alliance, withdrew her organization’s support for the proposed ordinance. “We cannot support it. … This is not accomplishing a victory for public health,” she told the council. She was the fourth of 45 scheduled speakers.

During her speaking time, she asked those who supported the One Air Alliance in the room to stand; at least half the room stood in response.

After her comments, the mayor announced he and the other sponsors had decided to withdraw the proposal and allow the supporters to seek an initiative petition to put their proposal on the ballot. Applause broke out in the council chambers.

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2 Responses

  1. One Air Alliance has blown in like a bit of a whirlwind, but I could really find little information on them when examining their website. In today’s political climate, I am always suspect of ulterior motives and frankly, this ordinance is COMPLETELY overstepping government’s responsibilities. Let it be said, that I am NOT a smoker and I believe it to be a very lethal drug, but I am a supporter of personal choice (be it smoking or where I work). I can assure city council that there are other nonsmokers who feel the same as myself…we are simply fed up with big government and this is a GREAT example of it.

  2. […] after the failure of the previous proposal, O’Neal — a bill sponsor and proponent — suggested the One Air Alliance and other […]

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