CITY OF LAREDO

                                               CITY COUNCIL WORKSHOP

                                                              M2003-W-02

                                               CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

                                                   1110 HOUSTON STREET

                                                    LAREDO, TEXAS 78040

                                                            JUNE 12, 2003

                                                                5:30 P.M.

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

 

            With a quorum present, Mayor Elizabeth G.  Flores called the meeting to order.

II.        ROLL CALL

 

            In attendance:

 

            Elizabeth G.  Flores,                                                                 Mayor

            Alfredo Agredano,                                                                    Council Member, District I

            Hector Garcia,                                                                          Council Member, District II

            Gene Belmares,                                                                        Council Member, District VI

            Juan Ramirez,                                                                           Council Member, District VIII

            Gustavo Guevara, Jr.,                                                               City Secretary

            Larry Dovalina,                                                                         City Manager

            Cynthia Collazo,                                                                       Assistant City Manager

            Valeria Acevedo,                                                                      Assistant City Attorney

 

Motion to excuse Mayor Pro Tempore Galo, Cm.  E.  Valdez, Cm.  J.  Valdez and

Cm.  Amaya.

 

            Moved:  Cm. Agredano

            Second:  Cm.  Garcia

            For:     4                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

III.       PUBLIC HEARING AND WORKSHOP

 

            1.  Public hearing and introductory ordinance amending Chapter 15, Health and Sanitation, Article VI “Indoor Clean Air,” of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Laredo, Texas by amending Sections 15-78 through 15-82; “Smoking in Public Places;” thereby designating smoking and non smoking areas; providing criteria and procedural requirements for designated smoking areas; providing sign requirements; providing for violations, enforcement and penalties of the policies implementing this chapter; providing for severability; and providing for an effective date and publication.

 

                 Motion to open the public hearing.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

                 Second:  Cm.  Belmares

                 For:      4                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0 

 

Valeria Acevedo, Assistant City Attorney, explained why the current Indoor Clean Air Ordinance was being brought before Council.  She pointed out that the newly revised ordinance is not as restricted as some of the more publicized ordinances being discussed in other cities.  There is a compromise to the amended ordinance.  Ex:  Smoking will not be banned in bars. 

 

Dr.  Hector Gonzalez, Health Director, congratulated the Mayor and Council Members for taking steps to be concerned with the indoor quality measures to ensure a healthier environment.  He discussed health statistics that are given in the following document:

  

He submitted the following documents with current data:

 

Do you Mind if I Give you Cancer

By:  Gabriela V.  Carriedo

 

The question should not be “do you mind if I smoke?” It should be “do you mind if I give you cancer?”  Secondhand smoke has been attributed with causing more than 3,000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers each year, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  The California EPA reported that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) greatly increases the risk of death from heart disease in nonsmokers.  Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in this country, and therefore it is imperative, for the sake of the public health, to implement a smoke free ordinance in Laredo. 

 

Everyone in the United States has the freedom of making a lifestyle choice, and the right to do as they please, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others.  Secondhand smoke is the combination of the smoke given off by the burning end of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, and the smoke exhaled by smokers’ lungs which invades the air nonsmokers breath.  “A burning cigarette is a little toxic waste dump on fire, emitting benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, cyanide, arsenic, and many of the same chemicals in diesel exhaust.  It contains more than 4,000 substances, 40 of which have been proven to cause cancer in humans and animals.  In 2000, the National Institutes of health, in its 9th report on Secondhand smoke kills 53,000 nonsmokers in the United States each year.  In Texas, only 22% of adults are smokers, however their habit places an enormous toll on the state killing over 24,000 Texans annually and costing in excess of $10 billion dollars in direct medical costs and lost productivity.  “For every eight smokers who die, one nonsmoker is killed by secondhand smoke.  An estimated 2,500 to 4,500 adults, children, and babies die each year from others’ smoking in Texas.  If only 22% of Texans smoke, why should the other 78% suffer.

 

People may argue that smoke in restaurants and bars do not seriously affect nonsmokers if they are only exposed to it for a few hours.  This is completely erroneous.  Just 5 minutes of being exposed to ETS equals to smoking 1 cigarette, which in turn stiffens the aorta (the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body) and makes the heart work harder to pump blood.  Twenty minutes of exposure to ETS has significant, adverse effects on the heart, blood and blood vessels.  When exposed to smoke levels similar to those measured in bars for only twenty minutes, the nonsmoker’s platelets act just as those in pack-a-day smokers and begin the clotting process that leads to cholesterol build up, coronary heart disease, chest pain, and heart attacks.  A clot in the bloodstream may also lead to stroke.   Thirty minutes of breathing secondhand smoke compromises the ability of the blood to manage LDL “bad” cholesterol by depressing anti-oxidant defenses – the effect persists for several hours after exposure ends.  The arteries’ ability to dilate is also reduced, diminishing the flow of blood to the heart.  After 120 minutes of breathing secondhand smoke, the risk of an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can itself be fatal or trigger a heart attack increases.

 

The majority of the toxic chemicals produced by cigarettes end up in the air nonsmokers breath rather than being inhaled by the smoker because most of the time cigarettes are left smoldering and generating air pollution.  Testing nonsmokers’ blood for the presence of cotinine, a chemical produced when the body metabolized nicotine, shows that nearly 9 out of 10 nonsmokers American are exposed to ETS.  Besides leaving hair and clothes with an unpleasant odor, ETS causes irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs leading to coughing, excess phlegm, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function.  Some ingredients in cigarettes may also cause headaches.  Cigarette smoke in restaurants does nothing to encourage a favorable dining experience.

 

Maternal exposure during pregnancy and postnatal exposure of babies to environmental tobacco smoke increases the newborn’s risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Everyday, children are unjustly exposed to secondhand smoke; they are not even old enough to decide whether or not they want to be in a place where there is ETS.  The developing lungs of young children are especially susceptible to the middle ear disease.  ETS increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 150,000 to 300,000 cases of respiratory tract infection in children under 18 months of age are attributed to secondhand smoke and increases the number of allergies, of asthmatic episodes, and the severity of symptoms in children with asthma.  Furthermore, ETS is a risk factor for new cases of asthma. 

 

Those more seriously affected by ETS are waiters and bartenders that work where smoking is permitted because they breathe secondhand smoke throughout their entire shift, totaling at least 40 hours per week.  Waiters and bartenders are exposed to the highest levels of secondhand smoke of any occupational or demographic group.  A university of California researcher concluded that the high concentration of ETS in restaurants was the most likely explanation for the increased risk of lung cancer among food-service workers and recommended prohibiting smoking in restaurants and bars to protect workers’ health.  Researchers tested the effect California’s law, requiring bars and taverns to be smoke-free, had on the respiratory health of individuals that worked in these places.  They conducted interviews with bartenders before and eight weeks after the law went into effect.  Of the 74% of the bartenders that had reported wheezing and coughing, 59% stated that the symptoms had disappeared.  Of the 77% of the bartenders that had described irritation of the yes, nose and throat, 78% acknowledged that the irritation had disappeared.

 

It is not enough to have smoking and nonsmoking sections in restaurants if they share the same ventilation system.  Cigarette smoke contains toxic gases and particles that spread rapidly and remain in the air indefinitely.  Other larger particles settle on floors, ceilings, and walls only to be swept into the air again.  Cigarette smoke is so complex and toxic that is impossible to remove the health danger for non smokers with filters or ventilation.  Researchers conducted a comparison of ETS in smoking and non smoking sections of restaurants at the same time and found that reparable suspended particles and nicotine were only 40% and 65% lower, respectively in the no-smoking section.  Restaurant air contains six times the carbon monoxide that you’d inhale standing in the middle of California’s busiest freeway.

 

Restaurant owners should not be worried on the effect the passage of a smoke-free ordinance in Laredo will have on their revenues.  Researchers have evaluated the effect of smoke-free ordinances passed in Arlington, Austin, Plano, and Wichita Falls on restaurant sales using restaurant and retail tax data.  “Despite variations in the municipalities’ geographic, demographic, and economic composition, no detrimental effect on restaurant sales was found to have resulted from the ordinances in any of the four cities studied.  Studies of over 80 localities have shown that a smoke-free ordinance has no negative effect in the sale of food and beverages in restaurants and bars.  A study found that 46% of nonsmoking adults avoid smoky places and since nonsmokers are the majority, a large amount of people is staying away from restaurants where smoking is permitted.  Advertising a smoke-free environment is likely to attract patrons, especially health-conscious, well-educated nonsmokers.

 

Many restaurateurs are going to great costs to try to separate the smokers from the nonsmokers-while simply going to smoke free would cost zero dollars.  Clean air can be tolerated by everyone.  Only 2-3% of the population is composed of die-hard smokers who would actually avoid a smoke-free restaurant. 

 

Most smokers do not stop eating at their favorite restaurant when it goes smoke free, they just quit smoking in it.  Furthermore, nonsmokers who have avoided eating out will start to do so, generating even more money for the restaurants.

 

The tobacco industry has done an excellent job in convincing restaurant owners that going smoke free would cost them 25-30% of their business since, nationally, 25% of the population smokes.  What restaurant owners and manager haven’t realized is that they are losing a large part of the 75% who do not smoke.  It is estimated that for every smoking customer, five non-smoking customers are chased away.  Smokers keep returning, therefore, restaurateurs are left with a false sense of who the majority of their clientele is.  Operators see the smokers return, but they do not see the nonsmokers who stay away.  Why limit your target customers to the 25% who smoke and the few  do not mind being around smokers.

 

Other benefits of a smoke-free restaurant include:

 

·        It appeals to the large percentage that prefers a smoke-free dining experience.

·        Provides a healthier environment for the owner, the patrons, and the employees who serve them.

·        Decreases sick time of employees bothered by colds, allergies, sinus problems, asthma, and other respiratory problems triggered by secondhand smoke exposure.

·        Limits the owner’s liability for harm caused by secondhand smoke to employees.

·        Reduces the owner’s responsibility for Workers’ Compensation claims.

·        Cuts maintenance costs by eliminating burns to carpets, booths, tables and other furnishings.

·        Gets rid of dirty ashtrays and ashes and butts on the floors.

·        Allows the owner to negotiate with its fire insurance agent to lower his premium.

·        Taste of food is not affected by smoke.

·        Does away with complaints from nonsmokers bothered by others’ smoke.

·        Makes seating easier.

 

Implementing a smoke-free ordinance will be beneficial to both smokers and non-smokers.  Clean indoor air regulations contribute to a reduction in smoking prevalence among workers and the general public.  Studies have found that moderate or extensive laws for clean indoor air are associated with a lower smoking prevalence and higher quit rates.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that once exposure to ETS stops, the damage starts to reverse.  Six weeks after a smoke-free bar measure went into effect in San Francisco and secondhand smoke exposure dropped 90% respiratory complains dropped almost 60%, sensory irritation dropped almost 80%, and lung function test began to improve.  When Helena, Montana  implemented a smoke-free policy in bars, restaurants, and workplaces, heart attacks dropped 60%. 

 

It is important to point out that each year 60,000 Texas children become daily smokers.  Nearly one-third of them will die from a tobacco related disease; at this rate nearly 486,00 Texas teens alive today will needlessly loose their lives.  Children learn by example and imitate what they see everyday.  Today, obesity, STDs substance abuse and teenage pregnancy are seriously affecting the health of our children.  Why make smoking another one of their problems.?   A smoke-free ordinance will lead to a reduction in the amount of children that may become smokers.

 

In conclusion, a smoke-free ordinance will improve the health of all Laredoans and will generate new business for restaurants and bars.  A smoke-free ordinance may take some getting used to, but in the long run will improve the lives of the members of our community.  It is the correct thing to do because it favors everyone’s health.  Smokers may have the right to take a risk for themselves, however they should not be allowed to impose a risk on others.  Non-smokers are not allowed to disperse radon,, asbestos, or any other annoying and toxic substance into the air, why must smokers be allowed to do it?  Non-smokers, hospitality workers, and children have a right to breathe clean air and safeguard their health.  Is it really fair to force non-smokers to breathe secondhand smoke to protect the rights of smokers?  Maximum fairness is providing everybody with clean, safe air to breathe while enjoying their dinner and drinks.

 

End of document

 

Dr.  Victor Trevino, Gynecologist and employee of City of Laredo Maternity Clinic, said most of the clients that visit the City of Laredo Maternity Clinic are indigent.  He noted the clinic provides excellent care to the patients.  However, he sees low-birth weight and premature births due to smoking parents.  He continued to say that the issue of second hand smoke should be addressed to protect the rights of the unborn fetus.   

 

Cm.  Hector Garcia asked the Assistant City Attorney if the City would be liable if the ordinance is approved and smoking is allowed in bars and restaurants.  He was concerned about the health of the employees where establishments allow smoking.      

 

Valeria Acevedo, Assistant City Attorney, assured the Council Members that the liability of having a “smoking” area would fall on the owners of the businesses.  She discussed the following amended ordinance: 

 

Sec. 15-78  Definitions.

 

Bar means any area devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by patrons on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the serving of alcoholic beverages.  Although a restaurant may contain a bar, the term “bar” shall not include the dining area.

 

Business means any sole proprietor ship, joint venture, corporation, or other business entity formed for profit-making purposes, including retail establishments where goods or services are sold as well as professional offices where legal, medical, dental, engineering, architectural, or other professional services are delivered.

 

Child Care Facility means any licensed nursery, day care center, pre-school, or other facility engaged in the practice of providing care for children.  A private residence is not a child care facility, except during those hours and in those portions of the residence when it is being used as a business for the purpose of providing care for children.

 

Designated Smoking Area means a designated area where smoking is permitted either indoors or outdoors.  If indoors, the area must be physically enclosed as described in Sec. 15-78(9) and Sec.  15-80, separated from non-smoking areas and ventilation with a separate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  If outdoors, the area must be no closer than fifteen (15) from the entrance to a non-smoking establishment or facility.

 

Dining Area means any area containing a counter, booths or tables upon which food is served.

 

Educational Facility means any day care center nursery school, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school, vocational school, special education center, or college or university.

 

Employee means any person who an employer in consideration for monetary compensation or profit.

 

Employer means any person, partnership, corporation, association or other entity that employs one or more persons.

 

Enclosed Area mans all space between a floor and ceiling that is enclosed on all sides by solid walls or windows that extend from floor to ceiling.

 

Health Care Facility means any office or institution providing individual care or treatment of diseases, whether physical, mental or emotional, or other medical, physiological or psychological conditions.

 

Food Establishment means any area which prepares meals or serves food or beverages, regardless of whether or not the establishment provides seating or facilities for on-premises consumption.  The term includes, but is not limited to:  restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, short order cafes, fast food establishments, luncheonettes, lunchrooms, soda fountains, food carts, food vending vehicles, and catering establishments but shall not include any portion of that establishment that constitutes a “bar”.

 

Place of Employment means any enclosed indoor area under the control of the employer to which employees have access during the course of employment, including but not limited to work areas, employee lounges, employee restrooms, conference rooms, and employee cafeterias, as well as the doorways and a perimeter area of up to fifteen (15) feet within the control of the employer.  A private residence is not a “place of employment” unless it is used as a child care or health care facility as defined herein.

 

Public place means any enclosed indoor area in which the public is permitted or that may be used by the general public and includes but is not limited to banks, stores, offices and other commercial establishments, restaurants, public and private institutions of high education, and child and health care facilities.  A private residence is not a “public place.”

 

Restaurant means any coffee shop, cafeteria, food stand, private and public school cafeteria, and any other eating establishment that gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or employees, except that the term “restaurant” shall not include a “bar” as defined herein.

 

Service Line means any indoor or outdoor line at which one or more persons are waiting for  or receiving service of any kind, whether or not such service involves the exchange of money.

 

Smoke or Smoking means the carrying or holding of a lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette, or any other lighted smoking equipment or device, and the lighting of emitting or exhaling the smoke of a pipe, cigar or cigarette of any kind. 

 

Sports Arena means any enclosed or unenclosed sports pavilion, gymnasium, health spa, swimming pool, roller or ice rink, bowling alley, boxing arena, tennis courts, and any other similar public place where members of the general public assemble either to engage in physical exercise, participate in athletic competition, or witness sports events, including but not limited to the following activities:  baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, boxing, swimming, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, handball, weightlifting, martial arts related sports, rodeo or track and field games. 

 

Tobacco Specialty Retail Shop means any retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.

 

Sec. 15-79

 

A  Smoking Prohibited

 

Except as other provided in Sec. 15-80, regarding areas specifically designated for smoking, there shall be no smoking in the following places:

 

1.   Any city facility, enclosed or unenclosed including but not limited to buildings,

      parks and sports facilities, airport, bridges, police stations, and substations, fire

      stations, civic center facilities, libraries, clinics, and municipal court;

 

2.  Public forms of transportation, including, but not limited to, buses, vans and taxicabs;

 

3.  Retail stores or service establishments;

 

4.  Public rest rooms;

 

5.  Service lines;

 

6.  Public areas of galleries, libraries and museums when open to the public;

 

7.  Theaters;

 

8.  Sports arenas and convention halls;

 

9.  Polling places;

 

10.  Child care facilities;

 

11.  Every room, chamber, place of meeting or public assembly, including school

buildings under the control of any board, council, commission, committee including joint committees, or agencies of the City of Laredo or any political subdivision of the State during such time as a public meeting is in progress, to the extent such place is subject to the jurisdiction of the City.

 

12.  Waiting rooms, hallways, wards and rooms of health care facilities, including, but

no limited to :  hospitals, clinics, physical therapy, mental health, and drug and alcohol treatment facilities, and doctors’ and dentists’ offices;

 

13.  Lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums,

       senior citizen residences, nursing homes and other multiple-unit commercial

       facilities;

 

14.  Lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in multiple-unit commercial facilities;

 

15.  Any school or educational institution operated by a business or nonprofit entity for

the purpose of providing academic classroom instruction, trade, craft, computer or other technical training, or instruction in dancing, artistic, musical or other cultural activities;

 

16.  Elevators;

 

17.  Restaurants;  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Section, any owner,

operator, manager or other person who controls any establishment or facility may declare that entire establishment or facility, as a non-smoking establishment or facility.

 

B.  Smoking Not Prohibited – Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Ordinance to

the contrary, the following areas shall not be subject to the smoking restrictions of this Ordinance.

 

1.  Private Residences, except when used as a child care or health care facility.

 

2.  Bars;

 

3.  Tobacco Specialty Retail Stores;

 

4.  Private Clubs and private recreation facilities;

 

5.  Hotel, motel and all other public and private conference and meeting rooms while

     these places are being used exclusively for private functions; and

 

6.  A maximum of fifty (50) percent of hotel and motel rooms.  Provided, however, that

each hotel and motel shall designate not less than fifty (50) percent of their hotel or motel rooms as non-smoking rooms.  The hotel or motel rooms designated as non-smoking rooms must have signs posted indicating that smoking is prohibited in such rooms and ashtrays removed. 

 

            Section 15-80  Designation of Smoking Areas.

 

            A.  General Criteria for Designated Smoking Areas.

 

The owner, manager or any person who operates or otherwise controls the use of any premises subject to this ordinance may designate one or more areas within a public place as a designated smoking area.  Any such designated smoking area shall comply with the definitions of “Designated Smoking Area” (see 15-78 (4) and “Enclosed Area” (See Sec. 15-78 (9), and meet the following criteria:

 

1.  Be situated so that the ventilation minimized the effect of smoke in adjacent nonsmoking

areas and so that air from the smoking area is not drawn into or across a nonsmoking area, and be located so that non-smokers shall not have to travel through the smoking area to get to the cashier, a restroom or a non-smoking area.

 

2.  Be enclosed with structural separations from non-smoking areas, as defined in Section

15-78 (9) that is, such structural separations must be on all sides, and must be solid walls or windows (exclusive of doorways) that extend from floor to ceiling. 

 

3.  Be designed by appropriate signs or by use of international symbols which are clearly

visible to patrons in or entering the premises constituting a public place as defined in this article;

 

4.  Contain ashtrays, containers or other facilities for the extinguishment of smoking

     materials.

 

5.  If outside, be an area fifteen (15) feet from the entrance to facilities and establishments.

 

B.  Procedural Requirements Regarding Designated Smoking Areas in All Places of

     Employment

 

1.  Within six months of the date of this Ordinance, each employer having an enclosed place

of employment located within the city of Laredo, Texas, shall adopt, implement, make known and maintain a written smoking policy which shall contain at a minimum the following provisions: 

 

a.  Prohibition of smoking in employer common areas, such as conference and

meeting rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, rest rooms, waiting areas, hallways, employee lunchrooms and lounges, stairways, elevators, and nurses’ aid stations or similar facilities for the treatment of employees, unless identified as designated smoking areas.

 

b.  Explanation to employees that any employee may object to his or her employer     

about smoke in his or her immediate work area, in employee facilities, or in areas in the workplace where he or she must traverse in the course of work.

 

2.  Using previously available means of ventilation or partition of office space, the

employer must use its best efforts to reasonable accommodate the preferences of non-smoking and smoking employees.  However, in doing so, no employer is required to make any expenditures or structural changes to the place of employment, if it is an entirely non-smoking establishment. 

 

3.  If no accommodation reasonably satisfactory to all complaining employees can be

reached in any given work area, the preferences of complaining employees shall prevail and the employer shall prohibit smoking in that work area.  Where the employer prohibits smoking in a work area, it shall clearly mark that area with appropriate “no smoking” signs and upon request, provide signs to employees for use in designating areas. 

 

4.  The employer shall announce its smoking policy within ninety (90) days of adoption of

this Section to all its employees working in work places in the City of Laredo, Texas and shall post its written policy conspicuously in work places under the employer’s jurisdiction, and make it available upon request.

 

5.  Notwithstanding the forgoing provisions of this Section, every employer shall have the

     right to designate any place of employment, or portion thereof, as a non-smoking area.

 

6.  If an employer fails to implement and maintain a written smoking policy, smoking shall   

     be prohibited on the entire premises.

 

15-81 Required signs

 

A.  Any person or employer who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls the use of any premises subject to this Ordinance has the responsibility:

 

1.  To establish and maintain “no smoking” areas;

 

2.  To property post and maintain signs identifying ‘”smoking”, “no smoking” or

     “Designated Smoking” areas; and

 

3.  To properly post signs necessary to give effect to any policy adopted, implemented or

                  maintained pursuant to this Ordinance.

 

B.  Failure to maintain appropriate signs as required herein shall result in a offense

punishable by a fine of not less than Fifty (50.00) Dollars and no more than Two hundred ($200.00) Dollars.  Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. 

           

            15-82.  Violations, Enforcement and Penalties.

 

A.  Any owner, manager, operator or employer of any establishment affected by this

Ordinance shall, upon either observing or being advised of a violation this Ordinance, have the obligation to inform the violator of the appropriate requirements of this law and then require immediate compliance.

 

B.  The Fire Department or the health Department may accept, while an establishment is

undergoing otherwise mandated inspections, self-certification by the owner, manager, operator or other person having control of such establishment stating that all requirements of this Ordinance have been met.

 

C.  Any citizen who desires to register a complaint under this Ordinance may do so by filing

a complaint with the City Manager, the Health Department of the City of Laredo, Texas or their designee.

 

D.  Enforcement of this Ordinance shall be implemented by the City Manager and the

      Health Director of the City of Laredo, Texas, or their designee. 

 

E.  It shall be unlawful for any proprietor or person who owns, manages, operates or

otherwise controls the use of any premises subject to regulation under this Ordinance to knowingly fail to comply with any of its provision.  Any proprietor or other person in control of a public place or workplace who fails to comply with this Ordinance shall be subject to:

 

1.  A fine up to Two-Hundred (200.00) Dollars for each day a violation

                                        continues; and

 

2.  Suspension of any license issued by the City, including any license issued

by the City’s Health Department for that public place for a period of up to thirty (30) days for each day of noncompliance.

 

F.  It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke in any area where smoking is prohibited

under this Ordinance.  Nay person who knowingly or intentionally smokes in an area in which smoking is prohibited shall be subject to:

 

1.  A fine of not less than fifty (50.00) Dollars, nor more than Two Hundred

     (200.00) Dollars; and

 

2.  In the event that a person has been previously convicted under this Section, that person shall be fined not less than Two Hundred (200.00) Dollars, nor more than Five Hundred (500.00) on a second conviction.

 

3.  No less than Five Hundred (500.00) nor more than One Thousand (1,000.00) Dollars for each conviction thereafter.

 

End of document.

 

Sally Zuniga spoke against smoking at outdoor festivities but was in favor if designated areas for smoking areas put in place.

 

The Mayor suggested advising the hotels and motels of the amended ordinance.

 

Cm.  Ramirez was displeased with the fine amount of $50.00 for violations.  He noted the fine was too high.

 

Chris Craddick said one way to prohibit that the Ordinance might be circumvented is to use age limits in defining the rules for private clubs and recreational facilities where smoking is allowed.  By law, a person has to be 18 years of age to purchase, consume or possess tobacco products.  Therefore; if establishments like the bowling alley decided to become a private club it would not be able to allow anyone under 18 to enter.

 

Valeria Acevedo, Assistant City Attorney, added that staff will set criteria for the definitions of clubs.    

 

                 Motion to close the public hearing and introduce.

 

                 Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

                 Second:  Cm.  Ramirez

                 For:      4                                         Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

                 Ordinance Introduction:  City Council

 

                 Cm.  Ramirez left the meeting at 7:01 p.m.

 

IV.       EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

            The City Council hereby reserves the right to go into executive session at any time during           this public meeting, if such is requested by the City Attorney or other legal counsel for the    City, pursuant to his or her duty under Section 551.071(2) of the Government Code, to           consult privately with his or her client on an item on the agenda, or on a matter arising out          of such item.

 

V.        ADJOURNMENT

 

      Motion to adjourn.

 

            Moved:  Cm.  Agredano

            Second:  Cm.  Garia

            For:     3                                               Against:  0                                            Abstain:  0

 

I, Gustavo Guevara, Jr., City Secretary, do herby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the minutes contained in pages 01 to 13 are true, complete, and correct proceedings of the City Council Workshop held on June 12, 2003.

                                               

                                                                        __________________________________

                                                                                        Gustavo Guevara, Jr.

                                                                                             City Secretary