By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Residents who have an opinion about the possibility of a smoking ban in the city’s public buildings have an opportunity to be heard next month.
On March 5, residents can talk to the Saltillo Board of Alderman about if they think the city needs to join 64 other smoke-free communities.
Alderman Brad Woodcock first brought the idea up to the board.
“I just thought this was something we might want to look at in Saltillo,” he said. “I didn’t put it on the agenda tonight for us to take action but I think talking about a public hearing would be a good step to take. I’ve had people approach me and ask me to do it.”
Aldermen Scott Knight and Terry Glidewell both said they were open to hearing what residents have to say about a smoking ban but don’t think they should tell businesses what to do.
“I’m not going to tell a business owner what he can and can’t do in the doors of his business,” Knight said. “If I don’t like what’s going on in that business, I don’t go and give them my business. That said, I would entertain a public hearing and see what kind of attention that brings.”
Alderman Mitchell Brazeal said he hasn’t heard complaints but voted in favor of having a public hearing to see if there are any.
Alderwoman Jewell Webb cast the only vote against the public hearing, saying she would rather have more information about what a smoking ban would look like in Saltillo before going to the public for comments.
Most smoke-free city ordinances ban smoking from any public business or public enclosed building. The ordinances usually allow for a designated smoking area.
State law already prohibits smoking in any government buildings and parks.
There are 64 smoke-free communities in the state, including Tupelo, Aberdeen, Amory, Verona, Pontotoc, Ecru, Calhoun City, Booneville, New Albany, Oxford, Coringh, Rienzi, Mantachie and Starkville.
Anyone who wants to share an opinion about a smoking ban is welcome to do so at 5:30 p.m. March 5 at Saltillo City Hall.