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Casper City Council to Further Discuss Public Indoor Smoking Ban

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

The majority of Casper City Council says it’s in favor of either repealing or rewriting the city’s recently established public indoor smoking ban.

The ban was discussed for nearly an hour at Tuesday’s council work session.

Councilman Daniel Sandoval wants the ban repealed. He says the ordinance restricts personal freedoms and property rights.

Sandoval also wants the ban question to be posed again in the form of a ballot referendum.

“Repeal the ordinance immediately and give it back to the voters,” Sandoval said. “If there are more voters who think we should keep the smoking ban, then, by all means, it’s official: (It’s a) tyranny of the majority.”

Mayor Kenyne Schlager supports the ban. She says the ban has a positive impact on personal and public health.

“Health is a little more in the forefront for me because I work for a healthcare agency, I’m allergic to smoke, and I’ve had family, you know, that have had issues because of smoking,” Schlager said. “You don’t want a council that’s going to agree on everything – we need a spirited debate, and we need to hear the other side of the story.”

Currently, Mayor Kenyne Schlager and councilman Charlie Powell are in favor of retaining the ban. Councilmen Daniel Sandoval, Craig Hedquist, Paul Bertoglio, Paul Meyer, Steve Cathey, Keith Goodenough and Bob Hopkins are in favor of either amending or repealing the ban.

In its third reading last June, council passed the ordinance by a 6-2 margin. One council member, Keith Goodenough, abstained from voting after citing a conflict of interest.

Four members of last June’s council are no longer council members.

The ordinance has been in place since last September.

Schlager says another work session will be scheduled to further discuss the ban.

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