User Login    
 + Register
News : St. Joseph Fails To Pass Smoking Ban
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/8 4:58:00 (242 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 In addition, the clause is “too vague” and can be rescinded when any municipality in those counties bans smoking on a casino gaming floor — even if that community doesn’t have a casino.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
2014/4/23 11:40:00 - Former THS Golfer Finishes Collegiate Career
2014/4/23 11:34:30 - KC Chiefs Re-Sign WR Williams
2014/4/23 11:20:00 - Mizzou Caravan Visiting Northwestern H.S. (Mendon) On April 30th
2014/4/23 10:40:00 - TMS Boys Track Wins Team Title At C.F. Russell Stadium
2014/4/23 10:10:00 - Chillicothe Hornets Sweep Team Titles at Cameron Invitational
2014/4/23 9:50:00 - Hornets Tip Trenton In Tight Tennis Duel
2014/4/23 9:45:47 - Police Stop Swerving Pickup, Find 13-Year Old Boy Driving Drunk Dad Home
2014/4/23 9:22:54 - Dr. G Discusses Bed Wetting
2014/4/23 8:32:08 - Trenton Out-Shoots Chillicothe In Riverside CC Duel
2014/4/23 8:10:00 - Gallatin Girls, Maysville Boys Win Tiger Relays
2014/4/23 6:47:15 - Mom Bites Off Ear Of Dog Attacking 2-Year Old Daughter
2014/4/23 4:45:03 - NCMC To Prepare For Tight Budget
2014/4/23 4:40:08 - Children's Mercy Hospital Adopts No Hitting Policy
2014/4/23 4:35:26 - Woman Allegedly Sells Heroin From Hospital Bed
2014/4/23 4:31:08 - Police: Newborn Found Alive In In Trash Can; Mom Arrested
2014/4/23 4:26:11 - Rape Charges Added In 10 Year Old Hailey Owens Death
2014/4/23 4:20:18 - Missouri House Panel To Consider Impeaching Governor
2014/4/23 4:16:05 - Internet TV Case: Judges Are Skeptical, Yet Concerned
2014/4/23 4:09:59 - Soldier Faces Hearing In Killings Of Iraqi Teens
2014/4/23 4:07:19 - Missouri Executes William Rousan For 1993 Farm Murders
2014/4/23 2:00:00 - MSSA Announces 2013-2014 All-State Basketball Team
2014/4/22 10:48:41 - Mizzou Quarterback Announces Intention To Transfer
2014/4/22 10:45:50 - Two Arrested In Grundy County On Warrants
2014/4/22 10:38:42 - Trenton's Barron Wins 800 Meters At Lawson Meet
2014/4/22 10:32:48 - LeBlond Tennis Improves To 9-1, Defeating Trenton
2014/4/22 10:22:59 - LeBlond Wins MEC Team, Individual Golf Titles
2014/4/22 10:10:00 - Trenton Native Shoots Second Best Ever Score At Drake University
2014/4/22 10:06:48 - Trenton JV Golf Finishes Runner-Up At Macon Tournament
2014/4/22 9:57:26 - NCMC Announces Speaker For Commencement Ceremony
2014/4/22 9:26:34 - City Of Chillicothe Receives Grant



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

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