User Login    
 + Register
News : St. Joseph Fails To Pass Smoking Ban
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/8 4:58:00 (406 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 In addition, the clause is “too vague” and can be rescinded when any municipality in those counties bans smoking on a casino gaming floor — even if that community doesn’t have a casino.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
2014/10/24 10:28:48 - Solar Farm Topic Of Economic Development Meeting
2014/10/24 10:25:45 - Livingston County Library Encourages Reading To Young Children
2014/10/24 10:23:16 - Festival Of Trees Fund-Raiser Set For November 28th
2014/10/24 10:18:02 - Bogard Woman Seriously Injured In Accident
2014/10/24 10:13:53 - Unionville Man Injured In Accident South Of Unionville
2014/10/24 4:42:51 - 5 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Cheating On You
2014/10/24 4:29:07 - Six Bodies Identified After Decades In Oklahoma Lake
2014/10/24 4:24:30 - Peyton Manning Rips Broncos' Scoreboard Operator
2014/10/24 4:20:18 - How To Teach Kids To Be Nice Online
2014/10/24 4:14:12 - Police: Missouri Inmate Who Attempted Suicide Dies
2014/10/24 4:09:40 - 1 Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Train
2014/10/24 4:05:48 - 8-Year Old Scores Touchdown, Team Fined $500, Coach Suspended
2014/10/23 10:42:45 - Disaster Declaration Requested For North Missouri Counties
2014/10/23 10:38:01 - THS Marching Band And Color Guard To Hold Recognition Program
2014/10/23 10:35:23 - Snow Removal Bids Sought
2014/10/23 6:38:04 - Trenton Chamber Ambassadors To Hold Annual Halloween Trick Or Treat Night
2014/10/23 6:30:41 - Chillicothe Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire
2014/10/23 6:26:35 - Meadville Teen Hurt In Accident East Of Laredo
2014/10/23 6:23:59 - Spickard Man Injured In Accident East Of Gallatin
2014/10/23 4:46:44 - Giant Gold Nugget To Be Sold In San Francisco
2014/10/23 4:30:00 - The Worst Things To Buy At Walmart
2014/10/23 4:17:35 - Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Missouri Bank Robbery
2014/10/23 4:09:49 - UK Man Faked Coma For 2 Years To Avoid Court
2014/10/23 4:04:17 - Wife Of Wade Davis Forks Over World Series Tickets As Tip To Server
2014/10/23 4:00:50 - FBI Confiscates Hot-Selling Royals Panties
2014/10/22 6:42:06 - Missouri Livestock Symposium To Be Held In Kirksville December 5th
2014/10/22 4:52:49 - Dead Babies In Winnipeg Storage Unit 'Tragic Beyond Belief'
2014/10/22 4:43:12 - Two Sunken Vessels From World War II Were Just Found Off The North Carolina Coast
2014/10/22 4:34:36 - Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies Thursday
2014/10/22 4:26:06 - Homeless Man Victim Of Knock-Out Game Attack



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM