I’ve been very suspicious of Mayor Tim Davlin’s insistence on including the “ventilation clause” in his proposed smoking ban ordinance scheduled to come before the city council for a vote tonight. It has made no sense from the beginning and leads me to believe there is some strategy behind its inclusion. Is it a poison pill that insures its defeat at the hands the most ardent proponents of a smoking ban? Is it a giant loophole that will effectively neuter the measure? I don’t get it.
This article in the SJ-R this morning makes it clear there is no EPA standard of second-hand smoke indoors or outdoors. So why reference it in the ordinance? As the SJ-R points out, there is little difference between the Mayor’s ordinance and that of Alderman Bruce Storm’s proposed ban except for the silly, unworkable, unenforceable ventilation exemption. Something is up.
My best guess is that Davlin is trying to get out ahead of the issue (which he initially opposed) but needs something – anything – to distinguish his measure from Strom’s. But that’s just a theory. I have no idea what’s going on here.