Cape Girardeau voters to decide on smoking ban - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau voters to decide on smoking ban

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau City Council voted unanimously Friday in a special meeting to let the voters decide on a proposed smoking ban ordinance.

Members gathered to discuss the initiative ordinance known as the Cape Girardeau Smoke-Free Air Act.

There were three things that could have happened at Friday's council meeting.

One was for the petitioner's committee to withdraw the petition, which did not happen.

The second option was to pass the proposed initiative ordinance as submitted.  That failed to get a second on the motion.

Council member Mark Lanzotti then proposed to postpone the matter.

"I'm just asking for time to see if there is a common ground", said Lanzotti.

He hoped to have both sides reach a compromise on what the ordinance entailed.

The council decided not to take that approach, and voted against delaying the matter.

Council members then voted 7 to 0 to send the Cape Girardeau Smoke-Free Air Act to the voters for the April 5 election.

A group, now known as Smoke Free Cape, submitted the necessary petitions to get the issue to the city council in the first place. 

The ordinance on Monday failed on a 4-3 vote based on the need for a super-majority vote as required by the city charter.

Members of Smoke Free Cape are pleased to see the matter heading to the public.

"It's a public health issue and we owe it to the citizens to make a healthy community", said Dale Humphries.

The city will be responsible for all election expenses, estimated at approximately $18,000.

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011 the City Council will meet once again to officially call the special election in April.

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