User Login    
 + Register
News : St. Joseph Fails To Pass Smoking Ban
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/8 4:58:00 (232 reads) News by the same author

According to the St. Joe News Press, the St. Joseph City Council failed to pass an indoor smoking ban that was brought forward by a community initiative petition.

Click to see original Image in a new window

The decision was made by a final vote on Monday. Councilman Gary Roach entered the only “yes” vote to pass the proposal as it was presented by Smoke-Free St. Joseph.

Now, the City Council will hear an ordinance at its next meeting on Jan. 21 that will place the initiative on the April 8 ballot.

Of the three council members who spoke out on the topic, all wanted to ensure the choice went to the voters.

“I believe the citizens of St. Joseph want this to appear on a ballot so they can say whether they want it or not,” said councilwoman Joyce Starr.

In November, Smoke-Free St. Joseph submitted a petition that proposed to ban smoking in all indoor public places. The ordinance would exempt 10 percent of hotel rooms and private clubs when no employees are present.

In addition, the proposal would allow smoking on the St. Jo Frontier Casino gaming floor, but only until a casino in either Jackson, Platte or Clay counties goes smoke-free.

The last item was a point of contention at the City Council meeting on Monday. Affinity Gaming’s lawyer Jerry Riffel told the council he believes that clause in the proposal is illegal and unenforceable because it puts the interests of St. Joseph into the hands of another municipality. In addition, the clause is “too vague” and can be rescinded when any municipality in those counties bans smoking on a casino gaming floor — even if that community doesn’t have a casino.

“It’s poorly worded,” he said. “It’s attack-able under the United States Constitution.”
Once the City Council chose not to pass the ordinance as is, Mr. Riffel continued to advocate for a change in the petition’s wording. However, City Council members Jeff Penland and Byron Myers advised him that he needs to take up specific changes with the original petition committee.
According to the City Charter, Article XI, “Initiative and Referendum,” changes can only come if the committee withdrawals its original petition, makes edits and gathers another 2,190 signatures; the City Council cannot make changes to the ordinance.

Mr. Riffel said Affinity Gaming is willing to negotiate the language with the committee.
“There’s really not any room for us to do that,” said Dr. Jane Schwabe, co-chair of Smoke-Free St. Joseph, reiterating that they can’t change the language without drastic measures.

Dr. Schwabe questioned the timing of the casino’s public concerns, adding that the wording “may be vague, but it’s not illegal.” Plus, she said, the argument is a moot point because she strongly believes other Missouri communities will not ban smoking at their casinos.

“They certainly had enough time to bring up their concerns before now,” she said.

Several council members hinted that they could change the parameters of the ordinance if it’s passed by the voters on April 8. Lisa Robertson, city attorney, said there is no specific section in the City Charter that explicitly prohibits — or, for that matter, allows — them to do that.
Councilman P.J. Kovac said he would be willing to revisit the ordinance if the casino’s exemption was rescinded by another community.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/4/17 15:35:41 - NCMC Pirates Announce First Recruit For 2014-2015
2014/4/17 10:06:01 - Locations Announced For Drug Take-Back Day
2014/4/17 9:52:56 - Hamilton Teen Injured In Wednesday Morning Accident
2014/4/17 9:49:57 - Tri-County Board Of Ed Approves Pay Increases
2014/4/17 9:46:28 - TMU Releases Updated Budget Figures
2014/4/17 9:41:59 - Two Injured In Accident On I-35
2014/4/17 9:30:00 - Cyber Safety Seminar To Be Held In Trenton Next Month
2014/4/17 7:51:31 - NCMC Lady Pirates Sign Chillicothe's Graves
2014/4/17 4:41:54 - Boy Found In Stuffed Animal Claw Machine
2014/4/17 4:37:43 - Authorities Say Woman Killed When She Jumped From Moving Car
2014/4/17 4:26:11 - KC Police Investigate Yet Another Possible Highway Shooting
2014/4/17 4:23:15 - ICE Arrests 24 In Missouri And Illinois
2014/4/17 4:19:40 - Firetruck Rams California Eatery; 15 Injured Including 6 Firefighters
2014/4/17 4:16:54 - Blast On Site Of Explosives Plant Kills 1
2014/4/17 4:14:06 - Portland Reservoir To Be Drained After Teen Urinates In Water
2014/4/17 4:07:06 - Marceline Man Arrested On Sodomy/Child Molestation Charges
2014/4/16 16:20:00 - Trenton Students Participate In FBLA Leadership Conference
2014/4/16 10:37:42 - Defendants Facing 41 Charges Involving A Child Appear In Court
2014/4/16 10:10:15 - Princeton Board Of Education Meeting Report
2014/4/16 10:00:00 - Open House Held today In Brookfield Regarding Transportation
2014/4/16 9:50:23 - Dr. Tammy Hart Sells Medical Practice
2014/4/16 9:50:00 - Laredo Board Of Education Addresses Various Issues
2014/4/16 9:43:35 - Mo. Department Of Agriculture To Offer Students Chance To Explore Careers
2014/4/16 9:40:00 - Newtown-Harris Board Of Education Meeting Report
2014/4/16 9:40:00 - North Mercer School Board Accepts Resignation, Approves Pay Increase
2014/4/16 9:25:26 - TMS Sweeps Quad At C.F. Russell Stadium
2014/4/16 8:50:00 - Trenton Boys Track Wins Brookfield Quad
2014/4/16 8:38:33 - Southwest Missouri Woman Charged In Husband's Death
2014/4/16 8:30:00 - THS Tennis Falls 6-3 At Savannah
2014/4/16 7:46:10 - NCMC Pirates Sweep Doubleheader At Highland CC



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Advertisement
Click to see original Image in a new window
Listen to KTTN-FM