Council hears pleas on smoking
By Janet Morales, Moberly Monitor-Index
Feb 03, 2009
Feb 03, 2009
Pam Smith spoke to the council on behalf of businesses who are against a smoking ban in Moberly. A Clean Air Coalition was formed last year, a group consisting primarily of health care individuals, to investigate the possibility of eliminating smoking in public places.
Smith, a former business owner, has been a vocal opponent of a smoking ban. She said any ban would put bars and taverns out of business. Smith and other local business owners, especially those with interests in bars/taverns, have taken part in various meetings of the Clean Air Coalition.? However, Smith said there have been no further invitations to participate in discussions with the organization.
“They won’t let us attend their meetings anymore,” she said.
Smith told the council she fears the organization will adopt a smoking ban ordinance with little public input.
Gary Nolan, program director and talk show host with KSSZ in Columbia spoke to the council against a smoking ban. Nolan ran for president on the Libertarian ticket in 2004 and currently serves as the U.S. regional director of the Citizens Freedom Alliance and its Smoker’s Club.
Nolan told the council there is no correlation between secondhand smoke and heart disease and lung cancer, that figures used to support such claims are faulty. Nolan said a smoking ban would have a negative economic impact, especially on single mothers who rely on their work as waitresses to support their children.
Moberly City Manager Andy Morris told the group that the city doesn’t have a position on the issue and city staff has not attended any of the meetings of the Clean Air Coalition. A ban on smoking in public places inside the city limits would require “legislative” action by the council and Morris said there is no ordinance or resolution currently before the council.??
In work session, the council approved a number of change orders and bid receipts to be brought forward for consideration at the next regular meeting. It includes new vehicles for animal control and the police department and change orders relating to projects at U nion Avenue, and water meter replacements. Another change to be considered involves improvements being done at Sugar Creek Lake.
The council, with Keith Phipps, director of public utilities, presenting information, discussed the city storm water demonstration project. This would involve work at City Hall and the City Annex to collect storm water and reduce runoff, utilizing projects that could be used by residents on their own properties. The council instructed Phipps to gather more specific information on costs before further action could take place.
Tom Sanders requested the purchase of Papi (Precision Approach Path Indicator) lights to be purchased for the airport. With the city only having to pay 5 percent of the cost, or $1,100, Sanders said this would be a timely investment.
The Moberly City Council will move the date of its next regular meeting to Tuesday, February 17, because of Presidents’ Day.