Proposed Kirkwood smoking ban has enough signatures

KIRKWOOD Promoters of a ban on smoking in indoor public places have enough signatures on petitions to start the initiative process that could lead to a vote on the proposal.

The St. Louis County Election Board announced this morning that the petitions had 1,089 valid signatures, 54 more than the number the city charter requires to start the process. The supporters had submitted 1,357 signatures, Melanie Stilson, the board official who oversaw the verification of signatures, said.

The city council has until Sept. 5 to deal with the initiative. If the council rejects or takes no action on the proposal, it would go to voters. The election must be no earlier than 30 days after the last council step and no more than 120 days after that step.

Supporters would like a vote in November. If an initiative election is to occur then, the council must reject the measure by Aug. 25.

With very few exceptions, the measure would allow smoking only in private homes, private vehicles and outdoors. Among exceptions are 20 percent of hotel and motel rooms designated smoking rooms, private clubs established before March 1 and retail tobacco stores.

The measure is a revised version of an initiative that voters defeated in November, 2006. Then,54.6 percent of about 14,300 voters rejected it.


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