The Sedalia City Council met for an impromptu work session on Saturday, Oct. 12 to discuss whether or not to make changes to the current smoking ban ordinance. Members of the community were invited to listen in on the discussions.
During the previous council meeting, a selection of council members had wanted to discuss and vote on allowing smoking in several of the small bars in town. It was made known by city staff that no vote could be made unless the item was on the agenda.
After discussion on making changes to the smoking ban, the council was polled, with one council member in favor of leaving the ban as is, three council members in favor of allowing private clubs smoking rights and four in favor of allowing small bars the ability to cater to smokers.
Council members Bob Cross, Becca La Strada, Wanda Monsees and Larry Stevenson were in favor of allowing smoking in small bars with 60 percent of their business coming from alcohol sales.
The issue was put to a vote and four members were in favor of amending the ordinance and four were in favor of leaving it as stands. Due to a tie, Mayor Elaine had to cast the tiebreaking vote and she voted in favor of leaving the ordinance as it stands.
“Any time there is a four-way tie, I have to cast a vote. That is my role and I voted to keep it the same,” Mayor Horn said.
Horn was asked if a large contingent of Sedalia citizens came out to the 8 a.m. meeting this last Saturday.
“There were quite a few folks there in support of keeping the ordinance as is and there were quite a few people there to support adding an amendment. Most of the people were got to sit inside of the room, but some had to sit outside,” she said.
Unlike a public forum, the work session was kept to discussion from city staff and council members.
“It was time for council to sit and talk about it amongst themselves and decide to take action or not,” Mayor Horn said.
Horn was asked if there have been any complaints received about leaving the ordinance as is and she replied, “Actually since the decision was made Saturday, overwhelmingly the response has been 10-1 thanking us for leaving the ordinance as is, and they are very appreciative.”
Mayor Horn was asked if there have been any fines levied since the no smoking ordinance began.
“We haven’t had any calls or complaints to the police department about it. To my knowledge there have been no calls or complaints about any establishment in town,” she said.