Citizens React To Possible Commission Vote

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

It's a near certainty that the proposed "Smoke-Free Ordinance" will fail once it's brought before the Bowling Green City Commission.

The vote was delayed Aug. 21 and Commissioners Bruce Wilkerson, Brian Strow and Joe Denning have all said they'll vote down the measure.

Right now, only Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash and Mayor Elaine Walker are openly in favor of the ordinance.

The decision has yet to be finalized, but people are already voicing their opinions.

Longtime smoker Sheryl Rich says she's happy Bowling Green won't turn into places like Florida where most places are smoke-free.

"Who wants to hang around where nobody wants to visit? You have to leave and go outside to find a spot where you can smoke," Rich said.

However, mother of two Misty Farwick feels the Commission dropped the ball on this one.

"I think they should vote for the people and for the majority instead of how they themselves feel," Farwick explained.

"73-percent of the voters polled believe this is a good thing and understand the dangers of secondhand smoke," added Melinda Craft, Director of the American Cancer Society and the "Smoke-Free Community" group for the area.

Craft said she finds it odd that the Commission passed a law that will protect only city workers from the cigarette smoke instead.

"We are saddened and we want them to realize they are responsible for protecting all workers and not just the ones who get a paycheck for the city," she continued.

"If they're going to take care of themselves, then why wouldn't they want to take care of the public?" asked Farwick.

Despite what seemingly is the end of the "Smoke-Free Ordinance" for now, one thing that both the smokers and non-smokers can agree on is that the issue will never truly be over.

"Now it'll always be a factor given the health care issues today. It'll always be a factor," Rich said.

The Commission is expected to have the first reading of the smoking ordinance at its September 4 meeting.


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