Skip to comments.Casino Concerns Stymie Smoking Ban (City council says no to nanny state)
Posted on 05/29/2013 4:19:48 PM PDT by OptimistEdited on 05/29/2013 5:14:12 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
The City Council voted Tuesday to completely remove a proposed smoking ban from its agenda.
After six months of debate, the issue appears to be snuffed, even after the City Council expressed its intent to take a comprehensive smoking ban to a vote of the people during the Nov. 5 election.
The ordinance to place the issue on the ballot was up for first reading at the councils regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, which would have advanced it to a final vote at the June 10 meeting. Mayor Bill Falkner and council members Pat Jones, P.J. Kovac, Barbara LaBass, Jeff Penland and Joyce Starr voted on a motion to remove the item.
Before the ordinance was read, Mr. Penland asked the rest of the council to consider leaving the decision to go smoke-free up to property owners. He said he believes the council needs to continue its discussion before making a decision, and perhaps provide incentives for bar owners to go smoke free.
I just cant vote for an issue that treats the casino different, he said, later adding that his decision was reinforced after hearing from casino manager Craig Travers, who spoke out against a ban because it would reduce gaming revenue for the city, county and state.
Mr. Travers statement reinforced what many council members had questioned during the six-month process whether a ban that excluded the gaming floor really was a matter of public health or of money.
Mr. Travers warned the council that if the St. Jo Frontier Casino was forced to go smoke-free, the state would sell the parent companys license to a community that had no ban in place. He also warned that a smoking ban would decrease revenues by at least 25 percent, and in turn would halt all discussions of moving Downtown.
The whole purpose of gaming is to provide tax revenue to the state, he said. ... This is not a health issue when it comes to the casino. Its a business issue.
Councilman Byron Myers presented the council with an alternative ordinance that would exclude the casino, but ban smoking in the rest of the community. Its a compromise he said he is willing to do for the financial health of the city and the county.
No motion was ever made to consider that ordinance, however.
Proponents of a smoking ban said Tuesday the decision will not deter them from their fight for public health. Mary Attebury, a member of Clean Air St. Joe, said the council is damaging itself by flip-flopping on its decisions and not providing what the majority of the community wanted.
Certainly were disappointed that the council hasnt taken and considered the feedback that they received over these past months and done what they should have done, she said. There will be a reaction from the community Im sure. This is not over.
Its unclear whether the council will take this issue under consideration again.
Sorry about the run-on paragraph. Pasted the printable version and didn’t realize it was totally unformatted til after it was posted.
please PING to list
Revel in A/C today announced the end of their smoking ban.
Ah yes, the tyranny of the majority overriding the property rights of the owner.
Such a conservative proposal.
Low volume ping list
FReepmail me to be on, or off, this list.
Yeah for St. Joe. Maybe some of this will rub off on governmental entities throughout the state. Time for government to get out of people’s lives, regardless of the reason.
Uh, that's what preview is for.
Puritans are deathly afraid someone, somewhere may be squeaking through life without their meddling.
felt better than a zot
Forget the smoking issue—this is all about revenue to the government. Gaming makes money for politicians so they can buy votes. The spinoff development from gaming is prostitution, pawn shops, check cashing stores, homeless vagrants, liquor stores, bond bailsmen, porn shops, strip joints, drug sales, and traffic at the local court house.
Basically gaming takes money from people who can least afford it, and transfers it to corporate headquarters in Vegas—and elsewhere. Casinos are giant pumps that drain local dollars that would circulated and created wealth in the local economy. Gaming is a scam for the benefit of the political class.
I worked at a vainly about 2 1/2 hours outside of St Louis. STL doesn’t allow smoking in casinos. Our casino allowed it. We had regulars driving in from STL to our casino strictly for that reason. We made money hand over fist.
What is a vainly?
Posting on my phone, auto correct sucks! Should be “casino”