Elected officials in Jessamine County will meet tomorrow to discuss a smoking ban that could come to a vote later this year. The proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking inside and near the entrance of most enclosed places and workplaces, including restaurants, outdoor stadiums and arenas, but bars would be exempt.
UPDATE, Feb. 27: “Each branch of government will have the option of adopting or rejecting the ordinance as it stands. Each body will essentially adopt the same ordinance but has freedom in the way it’s enforced within each jurisdiction,” Laura Butler of The Jessamine Journal reports.
So would a cigar bar (photo by Matt Goins) in the Brannon Crossing development near the border with Fayette County, which has an ordinance banning smoking in bars. The Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Greg Kocher reports that smoking would be allowed in private homes, unless they are used for child care, adult day care or health care. It would also be allowed in hotel and motel rooms that are designated for smoking; in tobacco stores; in private clubs; and at private functions.
Members of the Smoke-Free Jessamine County Coalition are disappointed by the exceptions. “They’ve changed a stronger ordinance to exclude certain words and phrases to make it a weaker ordinance,” coalition member Susanna Moberly said. “We’re very upset with that as a coalition.”
“We’re not going to put anybody out of business,” countered Terry Meckstroth, a Jessamine County Fiscal Court magistrate. “I think the committee felt, ‘Let’s get something that everybody can live with right now.'” Tomorrow’s meeting involves the fiscal court and the city councils of Nicholasville and Wilmore. (Read more)