The Council voted to pass the smoking ordinance just before 2 am this morning. Jane Brunner left the meeting before the item was heard. Ignacio De La Fuente, Pat Kernighan, Jean Quan, Nancy Nadel, and Henry Chang said yes.
Here are some highlights from what I managed to jot down of the discussion.
For some of my constituents “exposure to smoke can be as deadly to them as being shot in the street.”
I have asthma and I am not an advocate of smoking. But I think that this ordinance as its proposed is very interesting and the issue of us passing yet another ordinance we won’t be able to enforce is problematic to me…we passed the 25 feet and people sit right in front of those signs and smoke and it happens on a routine basis…the ordinance claims health benefits, yet there’s no provision in the ordinance as currently written that talks about doing some sort of monitoring to ensure we are achieving those health benefits…the concerts I sponsor in the park are not smoking, but people still smoke and people get angry when you tell them they can’t smoke and they won’t listen to you…I’m not really clear on the enforcement aspect of it and so would like you to enlighten me further as to how what’s proposed here is going to be effective.
This was followed my an exchange between Brooks and Barbara Killey, where Ms. Killey claimed that she knew the 25 foot law was being obeyed because she doesn’t get many complaints about it. Brooks responded with the incredulity one would expect, but Ms. Killey held firm to her position that if people were smoking within 25 feet of any door and window in the city, she would be getting complaints about it. One wonders if Ms. Killey ever steps outside.
Who is going to do the enforcement in parks?
Barbara Killey, in response:
The people who are sitting at the next table at the picnic. The people who spoke at the public safety committee said we will enforce it for you. It’s much easier to confront someone and ask them to stop smoking if you have a law to back you up rather than to say “you’re bothering me”
This is going to be another one of those ordinances that we can’t enforce. But I’m willing to support it.
Reid withdrew his support when Nancy Nadel refused to concede to any amendment to the ordinance.
Ignacio De La Fuente asked a bunch of questions about the 10 feet from bars aspect, which several bar owners showed up to ask be removed tonight. Many bars in Oakland have gone to considerable expense to install smoking patios for their patrons, permitted under current law, but which will be banned under the new ordinance. Nancy Nadel’s response to this was “10 feet is nothing!.” It isn’t nothing to Peter Van Kleef, who just spent $5,000 upgrading his smoking patio last week. But apparently her argument was enough to satisfy Ignacio.