Once again a fair and balanced smoking ban article from the Beacon.
Why is the St. Louis press so much better on this issue than the KC press?
'Hannegan, Nigro and other smoking-ban opponents said they might be able
to live with a policy like Tennessee's, whose smoking ban exempts places
with a 21-and-over age restriction.
"It won't make anyone perfectly happy, but it does seem that's a rational
basis to where to draw the line," Hannegan said.'
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 8:36 PM
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Most recently the Missouri Athletic Club has failed to comply with the St Louis City Smoking Ban. The City Health Department responded by issuing the first ticket for noncompliance with this young law. The MAC while somewhat quiet on the issue replied that they didn’t believe that they were subject to the law. The law as written excludes only private clubs with no employees. The MAC has employees and therefore is included in the ban.
I think there can be no doubt that the MAC is subject the smoking ban. Now the question becomes who is going to blink first. The MAC is a century old fixture in the city. Members of the MAC hold many important positions in the community. They are leaders of the community and hold influence on local politics. If they make a stand will the city do as threaten and shutter the MAC club? Will the MAC be able to force the City to make amendments to allow smoking in private clubs?
The MAC actually may hold the upper hand. The MAC like all private clubs such as VFW and AMVET outpost will not be allowed to legally allow smoking. Yet the alderman wrote into the bill one exemption for a “private club”. The VIP room at Lumiere is the only private club exempt from the smoking ban. If they city can give an exemption to three year old private club then why couldn’t they give exemptions to the likes of MAC, VFW and AMVETS. If they MAC makes a stand and can pull in VFW, AMVETs and all other private clubs they may force the city to alter the law.
I don’t believe the city wants to get into a public fight with the MAC. First I don’t believe they would actually go forward and shutter the MAC. There are far too many important people that are members. The city must make a decision on this because everyone is watching. The city has only one option beyond shutting it down and that is giving them an exemption.
The city gave the Lumiere VIP room an exemption then I believe they will give all private clubs an exemption. I believe that the MAC can’t lose if they press this. I for one hope they keep up the fight.
Posted by Bill Hannegan at 9:16 AM