Aldermen extinguish smoking ban in city

What a difference two weeks makes.

While at the October 6 Senatobia Aldermen meeting it appeared that Mayor Alan Callicott may have had support for his proposed smoking ban, the October 20 meeting told a different story.

At the earlier meeting, Callicott had provided the board members with a copy of the smoking ordinance adopted by Hernando last year, and asked them to consider such a ban for Senatobia.

Alderman at Large Don Clanton started the night’s discussion.

He said that he was a non-smoker himself, but that he did not believe the city government had the right to tell local business owners how to run their establishments.

Alderman Penny Hawks, who owns a non-smoking restaurant, said that some of the businesses in town which allow smoking – such as the Huddle House near the interstate – targeted a “specific clientele” which would not come if winston cigarettes were prohibited.

Alderman Lana Nail also said she was in favor of a smoke-free community, but feared the economic impact that the move might have on local restaurants.

Alderman Mike Putt, who manages a non-smoking chain restaurant, said that he also did not want to tell local business owners what to do.

The lone supporter in the group was Alderman Michael Cathey, who also manages a non-smoking chain restaurant.

“It’s going to happen sooner or later, but maybe the city isn’t ready,” he said. “The question is, are we going to be proactive or reactive?”

“It looks like we’re going to be reactive,” he added.

No board action was taken on the matter, and no citizens appeared at the meeting to express their opinions on the subject.

Senatobia has already banned smoking in government buildings and in city parks, including the city’s ballfields.

In other business, board members voted to change the city’s policy regarding paying insurance premiums for workers who are on leaves of absence.

The previous policy provided six months of insurance coverage for employees who were off work for a non-work-related reasons, and have used up their allowed personal leave time. The new policy changes that to 90 days.

Those employees who are out on Workman’s Comp claims will still be covered for six months.

All board members were present for the meeting.


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