Smoking ban likely to fail
An effort to convince Lansing City Council to ban smoking in public places within the city appears to be on its way to being extinguished.
The council, at its meeting today, April 20, is scheduled to consider whether to proceed with developing an ordinance to enact the ban. But two of the council's biggest backers of the ban - which would extend to all businesses in the city, including restaurants - concede there's not enough backing for the plan on the council.
Asked whether the proposed ban was doomed, Council member Robert Ulin said, "Probably."
Ulin said he had been outspoken in his belief that a smoking was a public health issue that needed to be addressed and he had hoped the city would take a leadership position by enacting a ban.
"At the end of the day, though, we're a democracy, and I'll abide by what the majority decides," he said.
Council member Billy Blackwell Jr., who also has publicly supported a smoking ban, surmised he would be the only member to vote for proceeding with an ordinance. That's because Ulin, who runs the Command and Staff General College Foundation, will be absent from the meeting while attending a dinner in Kansas City for Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey.
Matthew Gledhill, the Lansing resident who proposed the ban to the council, could not be reached for comment.
The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 800 First Terrace.