Saturday, April 22, 2006

Stupidity in action.

Go smoke-free in Menomonie
Doug Mell
Leader-Telegram Staff

The Menomonie City Council owes it to the three-quarters of its constituents who don’t smoke to provide smoke-free restaurants.

Smoke free mandated by YOUR government, because YOUR too stupid to do it yourself.

And both Menomonie and Eau Claire should ban smoking in workplaces — with the possible exception, for the time being, of taverns.

Because the Tavern owners would go ballistic because of lost revenue.

If Menomonie council members considering a workplace and restaurant smoking ban are skittish, they should talk to Terry Sheridan.

Yes, talk to the man who doesnt want people smoking in ANY city he goes to.

Sheridan was instrumental in getting smoking banned in Eau Claire restaurants in 2000. At the time it was the most stringent smoking ban on the books in Wisconsin.

I thought it was stupid then, too.

“I’d tell them that it has worked out very smoothly,” Sheridan said of what he would tell his Menomonie colleagues about the Eau Claire experience.

Yup, now people smoke in the doorways of their own buildings.

There was a lot of gloom and doom predicted when Eau Claire took the plunge: restaurants would go out of business or relocate out of the city, and workers would either lose their jobs or have their wages cut. None of that happened. In fact, the city’s restaurant business flourished.

Actually, alot of resturants now have bars too, making them "Taverns".

“I have not known one restaurant” that closed or suffered a “significant loss of business” because of the ban, Sheridan said.

I have noticed, that nobody sticks around those places very long once they are done eating.

Bob McCoy, president of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, also said the ban has had little impact in the city. While a couple of businesses may have lost some business, he said, “the consumer appears to be pleased.”

If they were pleased there would have been no loss of buisness.

The Menomonie City Council is in the early stages of considering a smoking ban. Both restaurants and workplaces are being considered.

All hail government mandated non-smoking!

A committee has been established to look at the issue. The council also is considering spending taxpayer money to survey residents about their thoughts on the issue.

At least they are bothering to ask.

Mayor Dennis Kropp is right to raise the issue of how valid such a survey would be. There also is disagreement about how much the survey would cost, with current estimates ranging from $500 to $2,200.

Spend the cash and then add it as a referendum in the next city election. Let the people have thier say.

Banning smoking in restaurants should be an easy vote in Menomonie. Although smaller in size, Menomonie has a lot of the characteristics of Eau Claire — a university town with mix of businesses and restaurants — meaning it is safe to assume a restaurant ban would work well.

Unless the people who used to go eat in Eau Claire, now go out to dinner in Menomonie.

Linda McIntyre, executive director of the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Board of Directors has decided it will not take a position in the smoking-ban debate. It is surveying businesses on their smoking policies.

Best idea yet, let the OWNERS of said buisness decide if they should ban smoking in THIER buildings.

Many restaurants and businesses already ban smoking, she said. McIntyre said her opinion is that a restaurant smoking ban would go over well in establishments that emphasize food, but those that sell a significant amount of alcohol probably would protest.

Because people go thier to have fun and be able to smoke if they wish.

It probably will surprise a lot of people in Eau Claire that smoking is not banned in businesses other than restaurants that sell more food than alcohol. There are indications the City Council may be asked this year to close this loophole.

Water Street is going to see an upsurge of smoking in entryways. Or a decline in buisness.

“That’s one that we are talking about,” Sheridan said of banning smoking in businesses.

He is just mad he didn't get a city wide ban on smoking.

That, too, should be an easy sell. It is hard to think of a business in Eau Claire that allows smoking. That’s probably why most people believe it is banned.

That, and they were told it was a city wide ban when it came out.

Society is getting much more comfortable with their governments ensuring they have smoke-free environments when eating out or working. The Eau Claire restaurant experience should give guidance to decision-makers in Menomonie.

Personally, I avoid eating at anything other than a place with a drive through in Eau Claire. If I want to sit down and have a good meal I go to the Albertville Tavern and eat good steak.

Yes, smoking is allowed there, not that I care, I quit some years ago.

— Doug Mell, managing editor

He forgot proto-facist.


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