City Council Smoking Ban Decision
Several people stuck it out and stayed for the council vote. Many of those left the council chambers happy about the lack of smoke in Columbia's future. Some council members gave their opinions before voting.
"The most important thing about this to my way of thinking is the impact on employees," said Ward 3 Councilman Bob Hutton.
Hutton also said the restaurant ban will fade in people's memory, just as smoking bans on planes and in grocery stores. Mayor Darwin Hindman also spoke in favor of the ban, mentioning the health benefits.
"The question becomes now which trumps? Protecting the public health or the free choice of the business owner. If you have a strong enough health case then the health trumps. I just think that is the trump card," said Mayor Hindman.
But, not everybody agrees that the smoking ban is the right decision.
"If a government is going to intrude upon a business and make a management decision, shall I allow smoking, shall I not, then in my mind it must be an overwhelming public benefit," said Ward 4 Councilman Jim Loveless.
Again, it was a close vote by members of the Columbia City Council. The smoking ban passed by a vote of 4 to 3.Those voting for include Mayor Darwin Hindman and Council Members Chris Janku, Bob Hutton, and Barbara Hoppe. Those voting against the ban include Almeta Crayton, Jim Loveless, and Laura Nauser.