The Hopkinsville City Council Committee of the Whole sent an amended smoking in public places ordinance on to Council Thursday evening, but the matter is far from any type of resolution.
After considerable discussion about other options, Councilman Paul Henson proposed an amended ordinance which would not ban smoking in any business. Instead it would require each establishment to put signage on all public entrances stating whether smoking is allowed or not in that building.
Restaurants would not be allowed to have smoking and non-smoking sections as they do now—they would have to decide. Councilwoman Kimberly McCarley said that would require non-smokers wanting to eat at smoking restaurants to be closer to second-hand smoke than they are now. Councilman Henson said non-smokers could simply not patronize those places.
Henson’s version of the ordinance passed on a 6-5 vote, with Council members McCarley, Charlie Henderson, Peggy Everett, Don Ahart and Cornelia Belle voting “no” and Philip Brooks absent.
Mayor Dan Kemp said he was not pleased after the meeting, but believes the result could be different when smoking ban supporter Councilman Brooks is there to vote September 18th.
If Councilman Brooks votes the way the Mayor expects on September 18th, the current ordinance would likely come up with a 6-to-6 tie, meaning the Mayor could cast the deciding vote against it. Council could then go back to the original ordinance or make different amendments.