On Monday evening, the Sedalia City Council met for a work session where the main topic of discussion was the upcoming decision on a city-wide smoking ban.
The ordinance is known as the Sedalia Clean Air Indoor Act of 2013.
According to City Administrator Gary Edwards, the ordinance will not be put to a vote until at least one of the June meetings.
Edwards was asked how productive the work session was this past Monday.
“It was spirited at times, but it was just informational. No votes were taken,” Edwards said.
Edwards mentioned two items of discussion that seemed to be the hot topics of discussion amongst the council.
One of the main issues discussed by the council was if the ban should include bars.
“Should bars be included, and what is considered a bar, “ Edwards said of the issue.
He added, “The definition comes down to how much food is sold in an establishment to be considered a bar.
“On May 20, we will be discussing the definition of bars.”
Another hot button issue with the proposed ordinance is private clubs.
“Another question is how extensively certain clubs like the VFW, Moose and the Elks Lodge should be included in this,” Edwards said.
Edwards also mentioned other issues that were brought up during the work session.
“Some issues came up. One is freedom versus the rights of non-smokers,” Edwards said.
Another issue was the inclusion or exclusion of Bingo games.
“Monday night about half of them were saying that Bingo games should be a part of the smoke-free ordinance, but all other activities would be exempt,” Edwards said.
Another topic discussed was the exclusion of electronic cigarettes from the ban.
One issue is an enforcement issue. For example, if someone is seen smoking an e-cigarette at an establishment and it is confused with a real cigarette, that could lead to a smoking enforcement person to be called.
“Last night I heard them leaning towards leaving e-cigarettes exempt from the non-smoking laws,” Edwards said.
There are many topics to still be discussed by council member before an ordinance can be voted upon by the Sedalia City Council.
Edwards was asked if he sees the council passing the Sedalia Clean Air Indoor Act of 2013.
“I anticipate that there will be some sort of smoke-free ordinance put in place,” Edwards said.