Twenty-one of the 47 people signed up to support the ordinance spoke. Many were armed with scientific studies and what they said were harmful facts about second-hand smoke and its effect on not only the general public but pregnant women and children.
"I circulated a petition at my school," said Mary Scott Bugg, a fifth-grader at Toliver Elementary. She said enacting the smoke-free ordinance is important to kids her age, and the fact that all but two classmates signed the petition is proof.
Wendle Spigle, owner of Country Hearth Inn, said as an American citizen he feels he has the right to smoke. He added that his son suffers from asthma, and that "when he stays with me, I smoke outside" the home. "It's too late now," Katy Finley said from the audience.
Rick McKinney said America was founded on personal freedoms which he feels are being eroded day by day. "If our forefathers were here today to overhear this discussion, they'd be laughing."
"No one's trying to take away anyone's rights, this is not a conspiracy to start mandating everything," said Sueticia Sutton, director of Danville-Boyle County Community Education. "And by the way, our forefathers also thought that women shouldn't vote."
Lona Spigle, owner of Reno's restaurant, said locals come to her restaurant instead of going to Lexington because they can smoke inside. She responded to many who listed other cities in Kentucky that have enacted similar ordinance by saying it's OK to be different.
Ernst Crown-Weber, owner of Danville Bike and Footwear, said if the whole argument is based on rights, then why is it not his right to walk around spewing asbestos, which is also a carcinogen.
"And our forefathers? They were also tobacco farmers and slave owners," Crown-Weber said.
Donna Dugan Brown said if the commission passes the ordinance, "the go-ahead will be given to the powers that be to chip away at our freedoms and rights." But Steve Wolfgang, a history professor, said the preamble to our Constitution promotes the general welfare of the public. "If this ordinance doesn't do that, I don't know what does."
Funeral director Mary Stith Hamlin questioned the way the ordinance is written. "For families at my business, they need their cigarettes. To go from not having anything to something so strict ... to tell families that they need to get more than 10 feet away from the door at my funeral home to smoke, it can't be done."
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What the ordinance says
The smoke-free work place ordinance was presented in a second draft to the Danville City Commission and has not had its first reading yet. The commission will hold a workshop to discuss the ordinance at length. These are some highlights of what the ordinance says:
* Smoking would be prohibited in all enclosed places of employment, effective no more than 60 days after the ordinance is enacted.
* Smoking would be prohibited in the seating areas of all outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters.
* Designated smoking areas would only be permitted at least 10 feet from any enclosed area.
* Smoking would not be regulated at: private residences, hotel and motel rooms designated as smoking, retail tobacco stores (providing that smoke from the premises does not infiltrate into areas where it's prohibited), private clubs that have no employees (unless having a function for the general public), and outdoor areas of places of employment.
* Ashtrays would be removed from any area that's non-smoking, and cigarettes must not be improperly discarded as litter on the ground of any property, including city sidewalks.
* The city fire department, code enforcement officers, police and all other city officials or employees designated by the city manager shall enforce the ordinance.
* Fines would be assessed as follows: $100 for first violation within a one-year period; a fine not exceeding $300 for a second violation within one year; a fine not exceeding $250 for each additional violation within one year.
* In addition to fines, violations of the ordinance by a person who owns, manages or operates a public place or place of employment may result in the suspension or revocation of any permit or license.