So for the third time this fall, the Oakland City Council passed a first reading of the new outdoor smoking ban tonight. A first reading of an amended ordinance that exempts golf courses. The ordinance will have its second vote on December 4th.
Larry Reid moved an amendment to exempt the golf courses from the ordinance. And Larry Reid, Henry Chang, Pat Kernighan, and Desley Brooks voted yes on the exemption. Nancy Nadel, Jean Quan, and Jane Brunner voted no. Ignacio De La Fuente had left the meeting early and was not there for the discussion. The exemption did not pass because it did not have five votes. It looked like Ignacio had ruined everything for smoking golfers who like the municipal course! But then it was time to vote on the second reading (and final passage) of the ordinance. Larry Reid and Henry Chang voted NO, Desley Brooks abstained. Nancy Nadel, Jean Quan, Pat Kernighan, and Jane Brunner voted YES. But that was only four – the ordinance did not get the five votes it needed to pass and therefore it failed!
The anti-smoking contingent flipped out. They asked what would happen next, and they were told that if they wanted to pass the outdoor smoking ban, they would now have to start over and bring it forth as a new ordinance for a new first reading. Obviously, it is embarrassing enough for Nancy Nadel who has been pushing this ordinance as it is, she certainly doesn’t want to drag it out even longer and look even more out of touch. So she asked what could be done, if she was allowed to ask for reconsideration of the vote. Since she was on the winning side of the vote about the golf courses, she was allowed to ask for reconsideration of that amendment.
So Nancy Nadel asked to reintroduce the amendment to exempt golf courses, saying “As much as I hate to be controlled by smokers, I’m going to make that motion to reconsider.” Everyone supported the reconsideration. Then they voted on the ordinance as a whole, with the brand new golf course amendment. This time it passed – Nancy Nadel, Jane Brunner, Pat Kernighan, Larry Reid, Desley Brooks, and Henry Chang voted yes. Jean Quan voted no, explaining “I’m going to stay consistent.”
Now we have banned smoking outdoors in most of the city. At least as of December 4th this endless nonsense will be over. (That is, until Barbara Killey returns with her proposal to ban smoking in apartments, which will happen. Just watch)