Smoking ban petition drive offers Web site

Supporters of a petition drive to overturn a smoking ban adopted by the Topeka City Council have begun offering a Web site at topekansagainsttheban.com, said Topekan Gail Trembley, one of the drive’s organizers.

Petitions can’t be signed on the site, though it can be used to download petitions or donate money to the effort.

The Web site indicated Sunday that 1,609 people had signed the petition as part of an effort to repeal the council’s decision in a 6-3 vote on Sept. 30 to ban public smoking indoors and at places of employment.

The ban, which takes effect Dec. 4, makes exceptions for retail tobacco stores; outdoor places of employment; locations the ordinance defines as private places; private residences, except when used as a child care, adult day care or health care facility; and no more than 20 percent of hotel or motel rooms available to be rented to guests.

State law enables opponents to submit to the city’s governing body a petition, which must be accompanied by the proposed ordinance.

Local officials say if the petition meets legal requirements and contains valid signatures of at least 5,744 registered Topeka voters, the council must adopt the accompanying ordinance within 20 days or give the public a vote on it within 90 days. Any Topeka resident who is registered to vote may sign the petition.

source: http://cjonline.com

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