Archive for Thursday, January 5, 2006

Smoking ordinance requires input

January 5, 2006

Lansing City Council members begin the new year faced with a weighty issue: whether to impose a ban on smoking in public places.

There are those who believe Lansing can help blaze a trail by joining a handful of Kansas communities that already have banned smoking in public places. If the ban was enacted here, Lansing would be the first Leavenworth County community to do so.

Likewise, there are those who believe government has no business regulating people who are partaking in a fully legal activity or telling a business owner what legal activity can or can't take place in their business.

The decision potentially will affect every resident, employee and visitor to the community. That's why it's vitally important for residents to let their elected City Council members know their stance on the issue.

Tonight's presentation to the council by Matt Gledhill, a university student and part-time restaurant waiter, will lay out the case for a full ban on smoking in all enclosed work places in the city. A likely outcome tonight is that the council will recommend the issue be discussed further at an upcoming work session before any action is taken.

Such a move would give council members the opportunity to hear from their constituents about the plan. It's our hope Lansing residents will take that opportunity either to attend the work session and speak up or call, write or e-mail their elected representatives and make their voices heard on the issue.

Too often, elected officials are accused of making decisions that go against the wishes of their constituents. But elected officials can only make informed decisions when they hear from their constituents. Now's the time to speak out.

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