That Last-Minute Effort to Delay Citywide Smoking Ban Just Got Kicked in the Ash

So much for Tennell Atkins's move to push back the citywide smoking ban till October 10. Atkins had insisted that some bars and restaurants have had issues securing city permits to build porches and patios in advance of the April 10 start date of the new ordinance's enforcement, which will "prohibit smoking in all indoor and enclosed areas in the city and within 15 feet of any entrance to an indoor or enclosed area." So he had added to today's council agenda an addendum to the ordinance that would have delayed the citywide ban six more months. Asked Atkins moments ago during the Dallas City Council's meeting, "Can we help these small club owners?"

Mayor Tom Leppert said, more or less, sure the city can help -- after the ban takes effect on Friday. Leppert said the city will consider the business owners' problems and "work with them" after the ordinance butts in (see what I did there?) at week's end. Which was good enough for Atkins, who moved to defer the addendum, thus snuffing out the last-ditch effort to delay the ban. Atkins, incidentally, is the same council member who wondered back in December, when the council passed the ordinance, "Why are we rushing this?"

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky