Archived Story

Council considers smoking ban; members support idea

Published 11:00pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Troy City Council entertained a first reading of the “City of Troy Smoke Free Air Ordinance of 2013” at its Tuesday meeting, and council members expressed their support for the ordinance.

Council member Dejerilyn Henderson said the ordinance would have a positive impact across the board and she “cannot oppose it.”

Council members Marcus Paramore, Greg Meeks, and Charlie Dunn also gave the nod to the ordinance, as did Board President Johnny Witherington who was aboard when the council imposed a citywide smoking ban in 2006.

“During our Mayor for a Day program, one of the participants read her essay saying that, if she were Mayor for a Day, she would ban smoking in the city because she wanted her daddy to quit smoking,” Witherington said. “It was very moving to hear this young girl read that essay. That was the beginning of a ban on smoking in public places in Troy.”

Paramore said that his initial concern with the ban was how it would affect businesses but that he plans on supporting the ordinance. “I have no intention of not supporting it,” he said.

Dunn said that he spent a lot of time polling his constituents and, after serious consideration, he is in favor of the ordinance. “I am in favor of anything that will make Troy a healthier place for all of us,” he said. “This ordinance will do that.”

Witherington said the purposes of the ordinance are to protect the public health in the City of Troy by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment, to address and abate a form of air pollution caused by smoking, which is a danger to public health and a material public nuisance and to afford smokers the right to breathe smoke-free air in public places and in places of employment.

According to the ordinance, smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed pubic places within the City of Troy including but not limited to galleries, libraries, museums, bars, lounges, child care and adult care facilities, convention facilities, education facilities, both public and private, elevators, gaming facilities, health care facilities, hotels and motels, polling places, restaurants and cafes, retail stores, sports arenas, theaters, places of meeting or public assembly, service lines, shopping malls, public transportation vehicles and restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways and other common-use areas.

Witherington said that, under the ordinance, outside smoking would not be allowed within 20 feet of public building entranceways.

“If the building has a deck, smoking will still not be allowed within in 20 feet of the entrance,” Witherington said.

Smoking will also not be allowed within 20 feet of operable windows and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited so as to prevent tobacco smoke from entering those areas or within 20 feet of outdoor seating or serving areas of restaurants.

In all outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters, smoking will be prohibited within 20 feet of bleachers and grandstands for use by spectators at sporting and other public events.

The ordinance will also thwart any efforts to allow the use of water pipes within the city.

“I’m the only councilmember that has seen first hand what the water pipes can do,” Dunn said. “I served in Vietnam where the pipes were used all the time. I couldn’t see what smoking the pipes was doing to people on the inside but I could see what it was doing on the outside. Their teeth were turning brown and falling out. Those were just the visible signs. I can only imagine what it was doing to the inside of their bodies. We don’t need anything like that it Troy. This ordinance takes care of all of it.”

A public hearing on the proposed smoke free air ordinance will be held at the Council’s next meeting on June 25. The Council could take action on the “City of Troy Smoke Free Air Ordinance of 2013” at that time.

In other action, the Council conditionally approved a liquor license for the Dirty Pearl Oyster Pub and Grill pending final fire and building code inspections. The business is located on the corner of South Three Notch Street and U.S. Highway 231.

The council approved a resolution declaring properties at 315 Trojan Way, owned by William E. Smith, and Southland Mobile Home Park, owned by Larry and Jade Davis, public nuisances. If not brought up to code, the city will clean the properties and assess the owners.

The Council approved a resolution allowing AT&T to relocate utility lines on Madison and Montgomery streets.

Mayor Jason A. Reeves said the final changes to the city’s new Public Works Facility are being made and a grand opening will be held at the end of the month.

 

 

  • Pauly D

    “Dunn said that he spent a lot of time polling his constituents”

    Play on playa’ !!

    Report comment

  • Pauly D

    If the city leaders are really concerned about how these pipes affect people, stop selling tobacco in the city limits? Is Charlie Dunn now going to ban buffets because it makes people fat? Ice cream? What about alcohol as people get drunk and ride the roads – especially at the beloved TU games.

    Bottom line is they don’t want these young black men starting this business because they are black and it will be predominantly black customers.

    Report comment

    • WDM

      Pauly,Dunn and Henderson are both black council members.
      And sevenhawk they are putting a ban on smoking not selling tobacco and why boycott the businesses for what the council is doing as they will just be doing what the law says.

      Report comment

  • sevenhawk

    The problem here is that the city council is going to make a decision that affects residents of the county and not just the city alone. Restaurants/bars and stores are practically non-existent outside the city, so non city residents are compelled to spend their money in the city. The city council is not going to waive any potential revenue from tobacco taxes so I am asking that all persons who do not support this ban hit them in the pocket book by boycotting businesses in Troy and Pike county and go elsewhere to spend your money.

    Report comment

  • TR186

    The smoking ban is a good idea. I don’t want and choose not to take my kids into restaurants that allow smoking. I am a smoker. If I go to a bar, I choose to find an area away from my friends (that do not smoke). So I agree with the ban. The issue I have with the ban is the timing of the whole issue. Why was it not an issue until these men wanted to start their business? The timing makes it look like there is bias. Although,in my opinion, they would have found away to ban hookas or water pipes, because they do not fit the “norm” and the “prestige” of our small town.

    Report comment

  • sevenhawk

    WDM as I stated before I feel that this ban will have an unfair impact upon county residents who have no representation in the matter. Also I am advocating the boycott as it seems the only way to get the councils attention is by reducing their tax revenue. Hit them where it hurts so to speak.

    Report comment

    • WDM

      sevenhawk by doing that you are hurting the businesses,and if the city doesn’t get enough tax revenue it doesn’t hurt the city council it hurts the citizens because the city can’t afford to previde the services that are needed.I don’t live in the city nor do I smoke did for 34 years before I stopped.To me if a person wants to smoke do it at home,in their car,etc.I feel the ban is a good thing.Some just want to play the race card but as I have already said two council members are black.

      Report comment

  • sevenhawk

    I should clarify that I am only advocating a boycott on purchasing tobacco products in the City of Troy.

    Report comment

  • mustang89

    Boycott! If you don’t want smoking then you don’t deserve tobacco taxes. If the citizens of Troy do not stand up on this issue. The council will eventually control every aspect of their lives.

    Report comment

  • ohwell

    TR it is your right to not go to businesses that allow smoking. It should not be the right of the city council to decide that a business owner does not have the right to decide if he/she wants to permit smoking.

    As for a boycott, I have already crossed off restaurants that don’t have smoking sections, leaving only one as of now. And they want to make me go out of town when I go out to eat. So be it.

    Maybe someone will take the initiative and open a restaurant just outside the city limits WITH a smoking section. We can only hope.

    Report comment

    • TR186

      OHWELL-The business owners rights are affected because they didn’t drill into their council person their desires. Now if I was a business owner, I would sue the city if I had legitimate loss of income because of a ban.

      I have enough self-control that I can wait 2 hrs to smoke or if I can’t I can walk outside. My decisions on spending my money aren’t based on where I can smoke. My local businesses are still getting my money, because I like the owner and employees.

      Report comment

  • Pingback: Council considers smoking ban; members support ...

  • WDM

    What is the big deal here?You don’t see people smoking in most of the businesses now.Sure it will effect the bars.I never see people in drug stores,Walmart,Food World,Post Office etc,etc. smoking.

    Report comment

Editor's Picks