With all the Jonesboro developments this week, we’re a bit late reporting what we saw at the 9/24/13 meeting of the Monroe City Council. Hopefully, we have a couple of items from the meeting not reported elsewhere.
On a 3-2 vote, the council approved a controversial “smokefree air” ordinance that will prohibit smoking in bars and casinos.
Voting for the measure were Ray Armstrong (District 1), Gretchen Ezernack (District 2), and Kenny Wilson (District 4).
Voting no were Betty Blakes (District 3), and Eddie Clark (District 5).
See here the ordinance.
Much of the meeting was taken up with comment and debate on the issue.
Speaking for the ordinance, was Jennifer Haneline, Region Manager for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.
Several other medical professionals and individuals spoke for passage.
Club Pink’s co-owner Tommy Stewart, opposing the ordinance, noted that his employees know before they apply for a job that the facility allows smoking.
Bartender Jordan Williams said, “I think it is going to hurt business.”
Doyle Jeter, owner of Enoch’s Irish Pub & Cafe, said that the ban was coming sooner or later, and that businesses will just have to deal with it.
Jeter did not agree with the provisions of the ordinance that prohibited smoking within 15 feet of a building.
Before final passage the ordinance was amended to change section 30.5-7C to add “unless the patio or outdoor serving area is located at a bar, and an employee is stationary at that location.”
According to news reports today, the ordinance might be revisited at the next council meeting to make the distance five feet instead of the 15 as was passed Tuesday.
Another issue the council dealt with was the appropriation of $150 thousand in additional funds to the council budget.
Armstrong gave to the other members a list that showed the proposed expenditure allocation of the monies.
See here the memo.
It passed 4-1, with Ezernack the lone no vote.
After the meeting, it was reported that City Attorney Nanci Summersgill erred in styling the proposal as a resolution, instead of an ordinance.
It will have to be re-voted at the next meeting, she said.