Yes, its going to be controversial and yes, we are expecting some resistance. But I think the more well informed, the better we can answer those questions and address those concerns, Ramirez said.
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Championed by the citys Public Health Department, the issue was discussed with commissioners in January and could be on the agenda for discussion in late April or early May, Health Director Josue Ramirez said.
In the beginning, it Omega Watch Deville
Its going to come sooner or later, said Kenney, who has owned Cobbleheads (bar and grill) in Brownsville for 10 years.
Like Isbell, Kenney had not been contacted about the ordinance as of Tuesday but said it was inevitable that a smoking ban would take hold in Brownsville.
Kenney believes the issue should be put to a public vote but said he likely would not vehemently oppose the ban. He doesnt think his business would be greatly affected.
Im a smoker and we are the minority now, Kenney said. If its going to stop me from smoking a few a day, it wouldnt hurt my Omega Women's Gold Watch
Joe Kenney owns Cobbleheads, a bar and grill in Brownsville where lunch hours are already smoke free.
March 9, 2005 Smokers, light up while you still can. An effort to adopt a no smoking ordinance for all public buildings, including bars, restaurants and bingo halls, is moving forward and could go before the City Commission within months.
Kevin Isbell, owner of International Bingo on Price Road, had not been contacted by the health department as of Tuesday but thinks bars and bingo halls should be exempt from the ban.
local restaurants, bars and other affected businesses, health department staff are calling or visiting with as many as possible to discuss the proposed ordinance.
Brownsville is not the first Rio Grande Valley city to consider a no smoking ordinance.
The Harlingen City Commission last week approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking in all public places, including bars, bingo halls, restaurants and businesses open to the public, the Valley Morning Star reported in their Thursday editions. A second reading on the Harlingen ordinance is scheduled for March 16.
may (keep people away). But I think all in all, people who want to have a nice dinner and want to go out and socialize will do it anyway, Kenney said. They will find a way even if they have to go back and smoke in their car.
Im a smoker. When I go to a restaurant, I dont go there to smoke, I go to eat, he said. But if I go to a bar I want to have a cigarette and a drink.
City isnt blowing smoke
We dont want that (smoking ordinance) in Brownsville. I think that will really hurt us. I think we should at least have a say so, Isbell said.
City commissioners have requested public hearings on the topic, Ramirez said. None have been scheduled.
Isbell also owns bingo halls in Harlingen, McAllen, Laredo and San Antonio. He said his businesses offer separate areas for smokers. A Omega Seamaster Mid Size glass wall divides the smoking from non smoking areas at the International Bingo on Price Road.
We want to make sure that the full commission is informed, Ramirez said. We (previously) provided them with information and we still want to provide them with more information.
Isbell estimates about 50 percent of patrons at his bingo halls are smokers and that a ban would negatively affect local nonprofits and charities that receive a portion of the bingos gross receipts, as per state law.
City Manager Charlie Cabler said the ordinance, if adopted, would pertain to all businesses in the city. There will be no exceptions to the rule, Cabler said.
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