Monthly Archives: September 2009

Ald. Krewson’s St. Louis City smoke-free air bill? Adjournment not action by Ald. Carter’s committee

At City Hall, surprise move sidelines smoking ban bill once again
09.29.2009 1:59 pm
By Jake Wagman
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — After a twenty-minute grilling from colleague Stephen Conway, Alderman Lyda Krewson was poised for a long hearing today in defense of her bill to ban indoor smoking in the city.

Instead, she got an early — and unexpected — exit.

Once Conway had finished his cross-examination of Krewson — a meandering question-and-question session that segued from patio smoking to the economic impact of a ban — Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe suggested the Health Committee adjourn so it can take a better look at the potential fiscal consequences.

A surprised Conway seconded the motion. It passed the Health Committee 7-2.

Just like that, Krewson’s optimism about the bill’s chance of passing out of committee today went up in, well, smoke.

“I assume they wanted to kill the bill or stall the bill,” Krewson said after the truncated meeting.

That’s not the case, Health Committee chairman Greg Carter said. Though Troupe’s motion to adjourn came with a proviso to examine how city finances could be affected, Carter allowed that it will give some north St. Louis alderman more time to talk to bar owners in their wards about the proposal.

Krewson’s proposal has cut a middle-ground that has irked both sides of the smoking debate.

Groups such as Smoke Free St. Louis say the plan — which would only go into effect if St. Louis County passes a ban of its own — lacks teeth. Conway says a provision allowing smoking on patios provides preferential treatment to bars in the Central West End — Krewson’s ward — which have more outdoor seating than, say, taverns in Bevo or Carondelet.

Even so, Krewson thought she had a good chance to pass the bill today — so much so that she already had a tally of which votes she thought were on her side.

“You know,” Krewson said, “I’m an accountant.”

Smoking ban is on hold in Wildwood

Wildwood’s stalling on the proposed smoke-free air bill is disappointing in view of the overwhelming public support it has garnered during council meetings. The bill apparently goes further than other comprehensive local ordinances by including outdoor restaurant patios.

Actually, I think that’s a good thing.

But Mayor Timothy Woerther, who opposes this bill, claimed this would make it stronger than even New York City’s current ordinance. I checked and he’s basically right, the section in that city’s code, published on-line at http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/clean_indoor_air_act/ciaalaw.htm reads as follows:

6. Outdoor dining areas of food service establishments with no roof or other ceiling enclosure; provided, however, that smoking may be permitted in a contiguous area designated for smoking so long as such area: (a) constitutes no more than twenty-five percent of the outdoor seating capacity of such food service establishment, (b) is at least three feet away from the outdoor area of such food service establishment not designated for smoking, and (c) is clearly designated with written signage as a smoking area;

But, so what? Is there anything wrong with Wildwood showing leadership on an important public health issue that’s been crying out for action for over 20 years? Apparently Mayor Woerther and quite a few of his council colleagues think so.

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Smoking ban is on hold in Wildwood
By Margaret Gillerman
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
09/30/2009

WILDWOOD — The proposed Wildwood Clean Air Act will likely smolder, unresolved, until after St. Louis County voters decide Nov. 3 whether to impose a countywide smoking ban.

But the city’s more stringent proposal ignited impassioned debate among City Council members Monday night, and attempts at compromise led one councilman to tender his resignation.

Mayor Timothy Woerther cautioned the council that he would veto any smoking ban that was adopted without a vote of city residents. On Tuesday he said, “At this juncture, my read is that there’s not going to be a push to bring this back until after we have the countywide vote.”

If county voters approve a ban, individual local governments still will have the option of adopting more stringent regulations.

Councilwoman Tammy Shea, Ward 3, said in a statement Tuesday: “This is a disappointment for those that believe this is good public policy supported by the residents.”

Councilwoman Jean Vedvig, Ward 4, another advocate for a city smoking ban, said that since May 11, more than 115 speakers at numerous meetings have testified at hearings. About 13 opposed the legislation, “but 100 some people supported the ordinance as presented,” she said. “We had experts testify that Wildwood would be a leader in St. Louis County and across the state.”

Councilman Bruce Colella said those advocating a public vote were abdicating their duty as elected leaders to make difficult public policy decisions. “If my judgment is not good enough on this, I don’t see how it would be good on any other issue,” Colella said, abruptly resigning. He later sent an e-mail rescinding his resignation.

The Wildwood measure would have prohibited smoking in all stores, restaurants, offices, businesses, public buildings, recreation areas, entertainment facilities and other places open to the public. It’s similar to the ordinance adopted by Clayton and to one being put before Kirkwood voters. However, the Wildwood plan went further, prohibiting smoking on outdoor patios of restaurants.

Vedvig said just four council members had publicly supported the measure. “I would say the mayor and 12 council members killed the Wildwood Clean Air Act,” Vedvig said Tuesday. “The mayor opposed this all the way down the line, and others sat in silence until 11 p.m. last night and then started saying all their objections and the exceptions they wanted.”

Woerther, a nonsmoker who has family members with asthma, said the Wildwood ordinance as proposed was too strict: “Our ordinance would be stricter than St. Louis County’s, stricter than Ballwin’s and stricter than what’s currently in place in New York City.”
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“There’s no reason to do this by fiat,” he said. “We need to have the residents tell us what sort of community they want to live in. There are impassioned pleas on both sides of this. It was very clear that many residents think cigarettes should be banned outright and others who say, ‘I want to live my life and operate my business my way.'”

Various health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have criticized the county’s proposed ban as too weak and supported Wildwood’s stronger version.

Some business owners took the council’s inaction Monday night as a good sign.

Todd Furlow, manager of Indigo Joe’s Sports Pub and Restaurant, said a delay until after a countywide election made sense. “I’m all for that,” he said. “Why would Wildwood go ahead and pass an ordinance that’s twice as restrictive as the county before we even know what the county will do?”

Furlow said he and some other local business owners favored the county’s proposal because it would put more businesses on a level playing field. “If you do it municipality by municipality, you’re driving out revenue” from the businesses in that municipality.

Paul Thompson, special to the Post-Dispatch, contributed to this report.

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Tobacco shop here keeps smoking along

Columnist Bill McClellan came in for some criticism recently when he ventured into the subject of secondhand smoke, showing himself to be partial to some of the flawed arguments of opponents of smoke-free air legislation. In his August 21 column, “Blowing smoke on secondhand smoke,” he was critical of the proposed county smoke-free air bill:

The plan would ban smoking in many so-called public places. I say so-called because the ban would impact restaurants which are owned by private individuals. I have a hard time thinking of them as public places.

To me, privately owned means privately owned. If the owner wants to cater to non-smokers — and we’re the majority — he or she can ban smoking.

He perpetuates a common misconception that is often repeated by the pro-tobacco industry crowd: that because a business is privately owned it’s not subject to any government regulation. What nonsense!

Today’s column has Bill meeting up with his former Post-Dispatch colleague, cigar smoker Harry Levins, at Town and Country Tobacco in Manchester.

In his last years at the Post-Dispatch Levins was the senior writer the newspaper turned to for detailed stories on historical events and their anniversaries, such as D-Day, and he wrote well and in depth. He faltered earlier in his career when it came to commenting, a bit like McClellan, on matters where he had a clear bias and/or was ignorant.

I recall Levins coming in for a drubbing from the cycling community after he wrote an acid piece about cyclists and how they deserved to have tacks put down if they organized on-road events that could slow down motorists. (I’m quoting from memory so if I’m wrong in any of the details please correct me!)

Levins, a cigar smoker, and McClellan, who declares himself a nonsmoker but doesn’t mind hanging out with them, clearly have a hard time understanding what all the fuss is about over secondhand smoke. Read what he has to say below and then visit the story on-line here to read the comments it has attracted. Needless to say, Bill Hannegan gets in early on-line!

Bill McClellan

Bill McClellan

Tobacco shop here keeps smoking along

Bill McClellan
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
09/23/2009

In December 1966, Lyn Beyer bought his father a pipe for Christmas. One week before Christmas, his father died. Lyn, who was at that time a nonsmoker, kept the pipe, and soon he was a pipe smoker. A couple of years later, he and his wife, Bobbe, moved to Kansas City when Lyn was offered a management job with Sears. They bought a tobacco shop in nearby Overland Park, Kan., as an investment. Before long, Lyn had quit his job to work full time in the tobacco shop.

That shop was successful, and about five years ago, the Beyers had the opportunity to buy a tobacco shop in Town and Country.

One of their regular customers is my friend and former colleague, Harry Levins. He favors inexpensive cigars. I stopped by the shop Tuesday morning with Levins. I wondered what the Beyers thought about the proposed ordinance to ban smoking in public places in St. Louis County. That ordinance would exempt tobacco shops. So maybe it wouldn’t hurt the shop at all. On the other hand, maybe anything that restricts smoking would be bad.

The shop, Town and Country Tobacco, is on Manchester a little west of Mason. Pipes, pipe tobacco and cigars are the specialties. Imported cigarettes are available, but almost as an afterthought. A sign on the door reads, “Lawfully concealed weapons are encouraged on these premises.” A sign in the window reads, “This is a work-free smoke place.”

Bobbe and the store’s clerk, Jack Kremer, were just opening the shop when Levins and I arrived. Kremer was puffing on his pipe. “It’s encouraged,” he told me. Levins lit one of his inexpensive cigars. Bobbe and I refrained. I do not smoke, and Bobbe described herself as a social smoker. She said she smokes a cigar every two months or so. “To sell them, I should know how they taste,” she said.

I asked about the proposed smoking ordinance. Was she concerned?

She said it was very hard to know what would happen if the voters opt to ban smoking in public places. She said there is a smoking ban in Overland Park — tobacco shops are exempted — and a ban in Kansas City. The bans have not hurt business, she said. If anything, business has improved. That might have nothing to do with the smoking bans, she said. Tobacco shops generally do well in bad times.

They do?

Yes, she said. People might give up going to restaurants, but they won’t give up their pipes or cigars.

That is not to say that life is blissful for tobacco shop proprietors. Taxes are always going up on tobacco products. Some people are offended by smoke. It is not unusual for establishments that share walls with tobacco shops to complain that smoke seeps into their businesses. In fact, the Beyers, who share a wall with a Chinese restaurant, have had to install a special vent.

A woman recently came in to buy a gift certificate and then went outside to wait while Kremer filled out the card. A woman who sometimes delivers mail will stand outside until somebody goes out to get the mail.

This concern about pipe and cigar smoke bemuses some of the regulars. Cigarette smoke? Plenty of dangerous chemicals in that, but cigar and pipe smoke are more wholesome, they say. “It’s been proven that pipe smokers live longer,” Bobbe said. Longer than nonsmokers? Yes, she said. She explained that cleaning the pipe and filling the bowl are restful activities that mellow a person out and lower the blood pressure.

Jay Schneithurst, a regular customer, noted that cigars can give a person a little solitude. “When I smoke one, no one wants to be around me,” he said.

Except for the other regulars, of course. By the way, they are all men. Conservative men. Golf, girls, guns and government are big topics, with the regulars approving only the first three. The large flat screen television is on FOX News nonstop except for Thursday night, which is considered movie night. The men order pizzas to eat while they smoke and watch a movie. Saturday morning is also a busy time, with most, if not all, of the 15 chairs occupied. No one expects that to change no matter what the voters say in November. Still, the idea of a smoking ban rankles Bobbe.

“We should have signs up opposing this,” she said. “To me, this isn’t about business as much as it’s about freedom. This is a freedom issue.”

I looked over at Levins. He was sitting beneath a huge buffalo head. He had finished his cigar and had pulled out a pipe. He was cleaning it. He looked relaxed, if not mellow. On the television, three attractive blondes were discussing the news. Life seemed good at the tobacco shop.
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Post-Dispatch 08/29/2009: “County smoking ban goes to voters”

A story with the above headline appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and is important for several quotes, including the following attributed to County Councilman Steve Stenger and County Executive Charlie Dooley.

Stenger said that the exemptions are reasonable for the time being, but that he looked forward to the day when smoking was banned outright in all indoor public places.

And this from County Executive Charlie Dooley:

Dooley, who quit smoking two years ago, said he planned to vote for the ban.

Dooley said: “It would be impressive if it were statewide and there were no exemptions at all.”

That reiterates Mr. Dooley’s comments during his press conference, shown on KSDK Channel 5 immediately preceding the bill signing, when he said:

County Executive Charlie Dooley Press Conference, August 24, 2009

County Executive Charlie Dooley at a Press Conference, August 24, 2009, immediately preceding bill signing

I would prefer, first of all, that it be a statewide ban. That’s the first thing. Secondly, it would be impressive if it had no exemptions at all. That being said, this is the best they [the county council] could do. People are going to vote on this ban. I’m going to support that.

In answer to another reporter’s question: “You don’t think there should be any exemptions at all; just those exemptions; or changes to those exemptions?” Mr. Dooley replied:

Again, if we’re going to do this, it needs to be done, first of all, statewide, but even more importantly, I believe the perfect solution to this would be no exemptions.

Just a few weeks ago Councilman Stenger insisted on the exemptions for casinos, small bars, and Lambert Airport, and at one time Mr. Dooley was unwilling to support such legislation out of concern over its economic impact.

The above quotes provide grounds for hope for a stronger bill, which Missouri GASP continues to pursue.

By Margaret Gillerman and Paul Hampel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/29/2009

CLAYTON – It’s now up to St. Louis County voters to decide whether to let the person at the next table light up.

Despite earlier reservations, St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley on Friday morning signed a bill that puts to voters the question of whether smoking should be banned at most indoor public places in the county. 

Dooley, who quit smoking two years ago, said he planned to vote for the ban.

Because county approval came after the deadline for getting issues on the Nov. 3 ballot, it needed a court order to be placed there. Circuit Judge John Ross took that action later Friday. 

Dooley had favored a statewide ban with no exemptions, but said he believed the bill he signed Friday was “a step in the right direction.”

“This is not a perfect bill, but at the same time, I recognize as well that people should have the opportunity to vote on this important health issue,” Dooley said. “The people of St. Louis County deserve to be heard at the polls.”

But whether this ban is too weak or too strong is a debate that’s likely to continue through the fall.

The bill exempts casino floors, the smoking lounges at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and “drinking establishments” whose income from food is 25 percent or less of gross income. The exact number of those bars is undetermined.

A coalition of the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and Tobacco Free Missouri had urged Dooley to veto the bill. 

After Dooley signed it, the groups issued a statement saying they’re “extremely disappointed” and that the bill was flawed and full of loopholes.

Their statement said: “While many view this as a good step in the right direction, from our experiences, a weak ordinance ends up compromising the health of workers, offers false reassurance to the public and stands in the way of future efforts. In communities across the country, we have observed how difficult and excruciatingly slow it is to come back and close loopholes in weaker laws.” 

Stacy Reliford, governmental regional director for the American Cancer Society, said it was too early to say what the groups’ next step would be. However, she said they would continue to push for a more comprehensive ban in the county. The countywide ban as now proposed would not go into effect until January 2011, she said.

County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, who sponsored the bill, said that she believed the bill would have a big impact.

“I think this bill is obviously great for public health,” Fraser said. “And it’s good for workers and businesses.” 

Fraser said the American Cancer Society had opposed the failed county bill to ban smoking in 2005.

“How many county residents and visitors have been exposed to secondhand smoke since the American Cancer Society helped defeat the last piece of smoke-free legislation?” Fraser said. “This a great step forward, and I’m glad county voters will get to be heard on this very important issue.”

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-South County, said the effect of the bill would be to “protect about 98 percent of workers and patrons” countywide.

Stenger said that the exemptions are reasonable for the time being, but that he looked forward to the day when smoking was banned outright in all indoor public places.

Dooley said: “It would be impressive if it were statewide and there were no exemptions at all.

“That being said, this is the best they (the County Council) could do.”

Bill Hannegan, who fought the county bill, said he thought opponents would have a real chance of defeating it at the polls.

People are angry about “the way it was handled and the unfairness of the law,” he said.

“For example, bowling alleys are out of luck. You can smoke on a casino gaming floor but can’t smoke at all in a bowling alley. Bowlers will be angry about this.”

OTHER SMOKING ISSUES

Kirkwood voters will also decide on Nov. 3 on a smoking ban in their city.

And the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is considering a bill that would ban smoking in all bars and restaurants. 

Its sponsor, Lyda Krewson, said Friday she planned to take it up again when the aldermen reconvene next month.

“I hope the city will lead the way and pass the bill we already introduced,” Krewson said. “I don’t want to pit restaurants against bars. I hope we are able to pass a broad and effective piece of legislation.”

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(1) Comments

GASPcoloredlogoMartin Pion wrote:  August 29, 2009 1:13AM

Missouri GASP stated repeatedly before St. Louis County Council, and also during a meeting with Mr. Charlie Dooley, County Executive, that we wanted a bill with no exemptions. Councilwoman Barbara Fraser’s first substitute bill was close to that goal but she failed to get enough votes among her council colleagues, so introduced a second substitute with exemptions, which eventually included the three major exemptions in the bill just signed by Mr. Dooley.

While we are disappointed that a bill with essentially no exemptions wasn’t passed we recognize this is still an important achievement, should it be approved in November by a vote of the people. 

Our goal remains a bill with virtually no exemptions, since everyone’s health is important, and that it should be approved by the county council and not subject to the uncertainty of a public vote.

Martin Pion, President, Missouri GASP
https://mogasp.wordpress.com

Republican Dr. Jotte announces run for Councilwoman Fraser’s seat

Today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Weds. 09.02.2009) included the following story in its Local Digest on page A3. According to the comments following the on-line version Dr. Jotte [pron. “jot-e”] has a website at http://www.randyjotte.com

It’s interesting to note that Dr. Jotte’s campaign treasurer is Sandy Odenwald, wife of former County Councilman, now Judge Kurt Odenwald, who was defeated by Barbara Fraser in the 2008 election.

It’s been suggested he should be a strong advocate for smoke-free air. One would certainly hope so!

Dr. Randy Jotte

Dr. Randy Jotte

Dr. Randy Jotte to run for St. Louis County Council
By Paul Hampel
09.01.2009 3:06 pm

Dr. Randy Jotte of Webster Groves has announced his candidacy in next year’s election for the 5th District seat on the St. Louis County Council.

Jotte, 49, is seeking the seat that will be vacated by Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, who is running for the Missouri State Senate.

Jotte, a Republican, is a emergency physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He served on the Webster Groves City Council from 2004 to 2008, and was mayor pro tem of the city from 2006 to 2008.

Last year, Jotte (pronounced Jot-E) narrowly lost a race for the Missouri House of Representatives to Democrat Jeanne Kirkton.

The treasurer for Jotte’s campaign is Sandy Odenwald, the wife of former 5th District County Councilman Kurt Odenwald.

The other announced candidate for Fraser’s seat is Terri Williams, a Democrat from Webster Groves.

Jotte is the married father of two children.

Aug. 25, 2009: Official version of Public Forum & Final passage of St. Louis County Smoke-free Air Bill #228

I previously described the St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday evening, August 25, which culminated in the vote to finally pass Councilwoman Barbara Fraser’s smoke-free air bill.

What I’ve pasted below is the entire excerpt for that evening dealing with this bill, taken from the official County Journal kindly provided by Ms. Jeanette Hook, Deputy County Clerk, St. Louis County, Missouri.

Councilwoman Fraser had an alternate version of her bill ready for possible presentation which would have dropped the exemption for small bars, but that was dependent on securing the approval of one of her supporters, Councilman Steve Stenger. When that didn’t materialize she introduced Bill #228 exempting small bars, casino gaming floors, and Lambert Airport’s smoking rooms, together with several other exemptions which were important but less controversial.

JOURNAL OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI

Tuesday August 25, 2009 6:00 P.M.

The County Council of St. Louis County, Missouri, met on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, at 6:00 P.M., in the St. Louis County Council Chamber, pursuant to adjournment with Chair Erby presiding.
On roll call, the following Council Members were present:
Hazel M. Erby
Kathleen Kelly Burkett
Colleen M. Wasinger
Michael E. O’Mara
Barbara Fraser
Steven V. Stenger
Gregory F. Quinn

A quorum being present, Chair Erby declared the County Council in session for the transaction of Business.
Also present were the Honorable Charlie A. Dooley, County Executive, Robert H. Grant, Deputy County Counselor, and Genevieve M. Frank, Administrative Director.

PUBLIC FORUM

Chair Erby called upon those persons who had signed cards to speak at the Public Forum.

The following individuals addressed the County Council and stated their opinions and concerns regarding Bill No. 228, 2009, pending on the Final Passage Order of Business:

Mr. Martin Pion, 6 Manor Ln., Ferguson, MO, President of Missouri GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution), stated he is conflicted on this bill and further stated that Missouri GASP’s goal is to provide 100 percent protection to everyone, questioned how the Council Members, in good conscience, can omit some individuals from this bill and say their lives aren’t worth protecting, and stated his opinion that the bill must protect the health and welfare of all workers and all patrons through a 100 percent smoke-free policy;

Dr. Delbert Escher, Jr., 400 Arbor Lake Ct., Ballwin, MO, stated his support for a smoking ban in St. Louis County and urged the Council Members to think about their children when they are voting on this legislation;

Mr. David Kuneman, 1015 O’Day Avenue, Rock Hill, MO, Director of Resources for The Citizens’ Freedom Alliance, discussed electronic cigarettes and their inclusion in this legislation and stated his opposition to this legislation;

Dr. John Patrick Stein, 12612 Town & Country Estates, Town & Country, MO, a member of the St. Louis Academy of Family Physicians, the St. Louis Medical Metropolitan Society, the National Lipid Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Academy of Family Practice, stated his assurance that all of these organizations believe it to be vital that tobacco abuse as a controllable risk factor for health be eliminated, discussed the health factors related to smoking and second-hand smoke and stated support for this legislation to reduce the risk of tobacco in public places and urged the Council to allow the public to vote for safer air;

Mr. Harry Belli had signed a “Speakers Card” but did not address the Council at this time;

Mr. Bill Hannegan, 5399 Lindell Blvd, representing Keep St. Louis Free, submitted information related to a report prepared for St. Louis City concerning “the probable predicted economic effect of a smoking ban imposed at once on both St. Louis City and St. Louis County”, noted the predictions included in this report that predicted a loss of revenue and a decline in employment due to a smoking ban in restaurants and bars in these areas, and warned the Council about putting a smoking ban on bars on the ballot in this regard;

Mr. Joe Toenjes, 329 Rose Lane, Kirkwood, MO, 63122, representing Choose St. Louis – Informed Health Choice Proposal, thanked Council Members Burkett, Erby, and O’Mara for “voting right” and not voting for this bill, stated his concern for the business owners and what they must do to fight this legislation and urged County Executive Dooley to do the right thing and veto this legislation;

Dr. Walton (Walt) Sumner, 7 Old Westbury Ln., Webster Groves, MO, President of the St. Louis Academy of Family Physicians and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, reminded the Council that the problem with smoke is the small particles contained in the smoke, stated his belief that electronic cigarettes are fine, further stated he advocates for electronic cigarettes, urged the Council to submit this matter to the voters and stated support for this legislation;

The Honorable Fred Meyland-Smith, Alderman for the City of Town & Country, 1032 Woodfield Estates Dr., Town & Country, 63017, and The Honorable Phil Behnen, Alderman for the City of Town & Country, 322 Sunway La., Town & Country, 63141, stated their support for the smoking ban proposal, expressed their appreciation for the Council’s pursuit of this proposal, encouraged the Council to proceed with the initiative to limit smoking in enclosed places, further stated they would “urge a uniform prohibition against smoking in all enclosed places” but do support the legislation the Council is presently considering;

The Honorable Lynn Wright, Alderman for the City of Town & Country, White Stable La., 63017, had planned to address the Council but was delayed in her travel to the Council Meeting and was not present at this time;

Ms. Sharon Hall, 6320 Northwood, shared information concerning her mother’s serious health condition, the physical and emotional cost to her mother due to her loss of mobility and ability to care for herself, the great medical costs involved in this regard, and urged the Council to consider the rights of taxpayers as well who are oftentimes burdened with paying for the medical care of citizens critically ill from smoke related illnesses;

Mr. Norman Farber, 13531 Cedar Bridge, owner of BFC Enterprises, a vending machine business that services many small restaurants and bars, stated his opinion regarding the Council Members’ respective interest in this legislation and encouraged the Council Members to “turn down” this legislation;

The Honorable Harold Dielmann, Mayor of the City of Creve Coeur, 300 N. New Ballas, Creve Coeur, MO, 63141, representing the City of Creve Coeur, stated that, “we totally endorse the bill as it is”, further stated we have to start some place and it may not be a perfect bill but it will get things going;

Ms. Julie Stone, 269 Habecking Dr., St. Louis, MO, representing the St. Louis County Libertarian Party, stated they are still protesting against this bill, that is unfair and will cause an undue burden on businesses as far as what decisions they have to make economically to try and remain viable, suggested letting the businesses post whether they are smoking or non-smoking so the citizens can make an informed choice before they even enter an establishment and urged the Council Members to vote “No” on this bill;

Mr. Marty Ginsburg, 2033 Whitman Court, Chesterfield, MO, and 13431 Olive St. Rd., Chesterfield, MO, owner of The Sports Page Bar and Grill, stated his opposition to any exemptions being included in this legislation, questioned who is going to fund the added enforcement requirements for a smoking ban in St. Louis County, further questioned why representatives of Town & Country and Creve Coeur present this evening have not introduced a smoking ban in their respective municipalities if they support smoking bans, he believes this legislation is discriminatory and urged County Executive Dooley to veto this bill;

Jeff Gershman, Attorney at Law, 7733 Forsyth, Clayton, MO, 63105, representing the Independent Restaurant and Tavern Owners Association of Greater St. Louis, stated disagreement with probable passage of this legislation this evening but did applaud the Council for giving this matter their attention, further stated it is their belief that this legislation “is bad for St. Louis County. It’s going to have devastating effects on the hospitality industry, particularly the bars, bowling alleys, billiard parlors”. He stated the problem with this bill is that it represents a single point of view and does not represent a diversity of views and, for that reason, it is bad not only for the County but also the community, further stated it is not a compromise bill and is not a consensus bill and is not a bill that most people will support, related his opinion that this bill will clearly pit the County against the City and favors the large out-of-state casinos who can continue to operate without restrictions, pointed out that new casinos are exempt, new drinking establishments are not exempt, casinos can be sold and keep their exemptions, and raised a question about drinking establishments in this regard, suggested that there is an opportunity to incentivise bars to put in air filtration systems and clean the air instead of just moving the second-hand smoke to other places, stated support for this bill being referred to committee to study its economic impact, to develop strong air filtration standards and to find out exactly how many drinking establishments really sell more than 75 percent alcohol and urged County Executive Dooley to veto this bill; and

Mr. Matthew Brown, 4975 Potomac 2E, St. Louis, MO, 63139, a resident of St. Louis City, stated support for a clean indoor air ordinance and related that the City is waiting for the County to show leadership on this issue, further stated his belief that legislation in this regard should include clean indoor air protection for all employees but noted that it is really great to start protecting some employees, indicated that he would prefer that a decision concerning a clean indoor air ordinance be decided by elected representatives who have much more time and energy to put into researching this matter thoroughly, and questioned putting this issue to a vote of the people.

There being no other persons who wished to speak at the Public Forum, Chair Erby ordered the Public Forum closed and the Council to proceed with the next item on the Order of Business.
……

FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS

BILL NO. 228, 2009, INTRODUCED BY COUNCILWOMAN FRASER, ENTITLED:

AN ORDINANCE

CALLING AND PROVIDING FOR THE HOLDING OF AN ELECTION IN ST. LOUIS COUNTY ON THE THIRD DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2009, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF SAID COUNTY A PROPOSITION TO PROHIBIT SMOKING IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES.

MOVED BY COUNCILWOMAN FRASER, SECONDED BY COUNCILMAN QUINN, FOR FINAL PASSAGE OF BILL NO. 228, 2009. UPON ROLL CALL, THE VOTE WAS AS FOLLOWS:

YEAS: WASINGER, FRASER, STENGER, QUINN
NAYS: ERBY, BURKETT, O’MARA
ABSENT: NONE

CHAIR ERBY DECLARED BILL NO. 228, 2009, FINALLY PASSED.

At the time of the Roll Call vote Councilman Burkett restated her reasons for not supporting this legislation and pointed out that she had voted “No” four years ago “when we had this same battle”. She stated that she does not see “a smoking ban in St. Louis County working unless it can be statewide”. Councilman Burkett questioned proposing a smoking ban with exemptions. She further stated her concern regarding how this ban with exemptions will affect business owners in St. Louis County, stating she believes the business owners would experience losses in revenue. Councilman Burkett noted that she hopes the voters in St. Louis County understand that this is not a 100 percent smoking ban.

Councilman Wasinger noted that this is a controversial issue and she expressed her appreciation to those individuals who had taken the time during the past few weeks to address the Council concerning this matter. She stated her motive was to give the voters an opportunity to decide if they want to have clean air in the majority of St. Louis County. Councilman Wasinger stated that this is not a perfect bill but it does give the majority of places in St. Louis County the opportunity to be smoke free, noting that she believes it is worthy of being presented to the voters.

Councilwoman Fraser reiterated her reasons for sponsoring this legislation, noting that the objective of this legislation and her number one priority is to protect the health and safety of St. Louis County residents. She restated information concerning second-hand smoke and the danger it poses to human health. Councilwoman Fraser stated, after many discussions with municipal leaders, business leaders and constituents, she is convinced “that this is also an important issue to St. Louis County voters”. She noted that passage of this legislation would give the voters of St. Louis County an opportunity to make a decision on this matter. Councilwoman Fraser discussed the exemptions included in this legislation, noting that, “nothing would get passed unless we make some compromises”. She questioned how many individuals have been affected by second-hand smoke during the past five years following the last time the Council reviewed this issue.

Councilman Quinn referred to discussions concerning the exemptions included in this legislation, stating he believes the exemptions cover five (5) percent of the buildings in St. Louis County. He stated work places, factories, restaurants, most bars, excluding the exempted bars, would be smoke free. Councilman Quinn stated he thinks, “This bill is going to be a significant advance”. He stated it is good to allow the voters to decide this issue, noting that there are arguments on both sides of this issue and the Council has heard these expressed quite well during the past few weeks.