Council decides against proposed smoking ban
Lansing City Council members on Thursday decided not to pursue an ordinance that would ban smoking in all public places, including restaurants, in the city.
Council members voted 5-0 in favor of not proceeding with an ordinance. Council member Billy Blackwell, who had spoken in favor of such a ban, seconded the motion that was adopted.
"It's no secret I have been in favor of a smoking ban. I like the idea of clean air when I go into restaurants," Blackwell said. "However, I think there's not support on the council here to carry the vote. The reason I am recommending we don't go forward is I don't want to waste staff's time developing and ordinance and the resources it would take to develop that."
Blackwell did commend Matthew Gledhill, the MidAmerica Nazarene University student who promoted the proposed smoking ban, and his father, Al Gledhill, for their efforts and urged them to continue their work.
Council President Kenneth Ketchum reiterated his stance that any decision on smoking in a business be left to business owners.
"I'd recommend that they have signs made for their cafe door that say, 'This is a Smoking Establishment' or 'This is a Nonsmoking Establishment,' and let them make the decision," Ketchum said. "It's their economic future. We have too much government now; let's let them develop their own business."
Council members Dee Hininger and Bob Ulin were absent from Thursday's meeting; Council member Dave Trinkle was late and missed the first three votes of the evening.
In other action Friday, the council:
¢ Approved 5-0 minutes from the April 6 council meeting.
¢ Approved 5-0 adding a letter from the attorney for the developer of the Old Town Development Project as an addendum to the development plan. The letter sets out a timeline for completion of the project.
¢ Recognized Gordon Cunning, the lead maintenance technician at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, as the city's Employee of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2006.
¢ Heard a briefing on the city's soccer program from Soccer Commissioner Richard Pitts. Pitts said the program had more than 340 participants, up 15 percent from a year ago.
¢ Heard a proclamation declaring May 1 as Loyalty Day.
¢ Heard a proclamation declaring April 30-May 6 as "Municipal Clerks Week."
¢ Directed the city administrator, in a 5-0 vote, to prepare a charter ordinance to designate The Current as the official city newspaper.
¢ Approved, 6-0, directing the city staff to prepare a request for proposals for expansion of City Hall and Lansing Community Library.
¢ Approved, 6-0, reappointment of Jim Pittman and Tom Smith to the Lansing Planning Commission.
¢ Accepted, in a 5-1 vote with Council member Don Studnicka opposed, public easements and rights of way for Eisenhower Crossings, phase 1, and the final development plan for Eisenhower Crossings, lot 2. The property is on the southeast corner of De Soto and Eisenhower roads.
¢ Approved 6-0 proceeding with the development of the 147th Street project and advance it to a bid-letting as soon as practical. The joint city-county project calls for paving and installing curbs and gutters on a 1-mile stretch of 147th from McIntyre Road to Dempsey Road.
¢ Approved, 6-0, a resolution adopting the 2005 Park Master Plan.
¢ Approved, 6-0, a cereal malt beverage for TFT-LLC, doing business as Daniels Bar-B-Q.