User Login    
 + Register
News : St. Joseph Fails To Pass Smoking Ban
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/8 4:58:00 (514 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 In addition, the clause is “too vague” and can be rescinded when any municipality in those counties bans smoking on a casino gaming floor — even if that community doesn’t have a casino.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
2015/5/22 17:55:36 - Woman Found Pushing Dead 3-Year-Old Son in Swing
2015/5/21 14:21:21 - NCMC Foundation Presents "Salute Awards"
2015/5/21 11:35:05 - Marshall Man, Accused Of Shooting At Police, Captured In Alabama
2015/5/21 11:25:26 - Police Surround Home Of Suspected Murderer In Sedalia
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Daily Room Rate At Sunnyview Increases By Eight Dollars
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Milling Work Scheduled To Begin Next Week In Trenton
2015/5/21 10:10:04 - Kansas Truck Driver Injured In U.S. 36 Accident
2015/5/21 10:07:54 - Putnam County Teens Injured In Late Night Accident
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - AP : Suddenlink Sold To European Company
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - Local Bank Purchases Tax Credits, In Hopes Of Improving Trenton's Downtown
2015/5/21 9:47:51 - Efforts Underway To Repair Lawn Damage At Grundy County Courthouse
2015/5/20 10:55:08 - Area Organizations Plan To Distribute Money-Saving Light Bulbs
2015/5/20 10:47:05 - Gallatin Library Receives $5,628 Grant
2015/5/20 10:00:00 - Area Rivals Tie For 3rd At Class 1 Boys Golf Tournament
2015/5/20 9:10:00 - Trenton High School Announces "Underclassman Awards"
2015/5/19 11:31:12 - Grundy County Commission Will Not Adopt Health Ordinance
2015/5/19 11:27:03 - Trenton Middle School Announces End-Of-Year Awards/Honors
2015/5/19 10:20:00 - Roadwork Planned For Highway 6, East Of Trenton
2015/5/19 10:02:11 - Missouri Farm Bureau Sponsors Photo Contest
2015/5/19 9:53:21 - Caldwell County Fairgrounds In Facebook Competition For Grant Money
2015/5/19 9:44:00 - Special Olympics "Torch Runs" Planned For Area Communities
2015/5/19 9:34:19 - Simpson Park To Host Darin Bryan Memorial Day Race
2015/5/19 9:07:36 - ATV Accident Injures Unionville Girl
2015/5/19 8:34:40 - Chillicothe Facility Hosts Weekend FFA Events
2015/5/19 8:33:23 - Gallatin Man Promoted By Highway Patrol
2015/5/19 8:31:39 - Spickard School Board Meets
2015/5/19 4:50:18 - TPD Busts 2 On Meth Charges Over Weekend
2015/5/19 4:40:44 - Man Drives Truck Through His House On Purpose
2015/5/19 4:40:00 - Kirksville Police Attempt To Locate 6 Missing Juveniles
2015/5/19 4:36:28 - Worried Mom Installs Camera, Catches Man Allegedly Violating Young Girl



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM