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Archive for Friday, May 19, 2006

Garden City leaders to discuss citywide no-smoking ordinance

May 19, 2006

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— The Finney County Health Coalition and Garden City commissioners are set to discuss a no-smoking ordinance for all of the city's public buildings on Tuesday.

Mayor Gary Fuller said the commission was not required to decide anything at its regular meeting, but hopes "to discuss the issue thoroughly and have a lot of dialogue.

"If everything is moving, we could make a decision," he said.

Three of the five commissioners must approve of the ordinance, which would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, offices and other public buildings - anywhere people are employed.

If approved, the ordinance could go into effect as early as May 25, though City Atty. Randy Grisell said it would likely be phased in over time. He said other towns that have approved similar ordinances generally allowed six months for businesses to comply.

"It's a tipping point idea that does have its day," said Curtis Clark, executive director of the Finney County Health Coalition. "People of future generations will look back and say, 'There was once smoking in public buildings?"'

Clark said he expected the commission to approve the ordinance. Fuller and Commissioner J.R. Bahen have both said they are in favor, and Commissioner David Crase said he is leaning toward the ban.

Carol Meyer, president of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber does not have an official stance on the ordinance but questioned whether the ban is something for government to decide.

Commissioner Reynaldo Mesa, while favoring the ordinance, said it would be "an injustice if we don't let the community weigh in on it."

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