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Residents Dislike Ordinance Restricting Smoking Areas

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18. Residents Dislike Ordinance Restricting Smoking Areas

Lacey Jacobs

September 11, 2007

After making it through two readings, an ordinance restricting smoking in some public areas failed to go any further Monday night.

The proposed ordinance was referred back to the Fairfield City Council Environmental and Franchise Utilities Committee without coming to a vote on the final reading.

The decision to table the ordinance came after listening to several members of the community.

Nonsmoker Dawn McKay said there is no question smoking is bad. But where do people's freedoms begin and end, she asked.

"Any smoking that is not welcome in a public arena can be taken care of by requests, not by force," she said.

Nonsmoker Michael McKay echoed his wife's sentiments, saying he is opposed to the ordinance for four reasons.

Such an ordinance is a slippery slope leading to greater regulation of personal-choice issues, he said. The ordinance also makes Fairfield unwelcoming to tourists, he continued, and he believes it is neither enforceable nor necessary.

Former occasional smoker Stephen Kelley said the issue is not about smoking, but about people's liberty.

However, ordinance proponent Mike McConeghey encouraged the council to pass the ordinance, saying public health is a major concern.

Councilwomen Connie Boyer and Christy Welty said they had both received negative feedback regarding the ordinance.


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