Saturday, January 20, 2007

village council will hold hearings on smoking ordinance Monday

I just received an email from Citizens United in Forest Park:
The Mayor has placed a smoking ordinance on the
Village Council agenda for Monday evening (1/20/07).
The item reads as follows:

“An Ordinance establishing smoking regulations within
the Village of Forest Park”.

We have no information regarding specifics.

As past practice has shown us, the “public comment”
section of the meeting may be the only opportunity for
citizens to voice their opinion. Council meetings
start promptly at 7:00 PM followed immediately by
public comment.


Steven Backman


Unfortunately, the Illinois legislature may take the issue out of the hands of Forest Park. Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation to ban smoking in all public places, minus some very narrow exceptions. There are no exceptions for veterans halls.

I favor the state legislature passing a law that requires communities to have at least some non-smoking bars. But the local government can allow smoking bars if it has at least as many non-smoking bars.

Patrons would be able to choose if they want to go to smoking or non-smoking bars. And municipalities could make a little money selling smoking licenses.

I would also favor making Forest Park smoking bars either provide employees with uniforms or pay to have their employees clothes cleaned. In my experience the extra cleaning required is the biggest objection of employees at smoking bars.


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