The Sedalia City Council met Saturday morning (Oct. 12) in a work session with only one item on the agenda: Sedalia's smoking ban.  After the city council split 4-4 on a vote to leave the current smoking ban unchanged, Mayor Elaine Horn's tie-braking vote supported the option, resulting in no changes to the ban.  The city council may revisit the issue in 60 days.

At the last city council meeting on Oct. 7, the council received input from local bar owners and their employees and patrons regarding the adverse effect they believed the ban was having on them. The council voted to hold an open meeting to ensure all the members of the council, as well as the mayor, and city administrator could attend.

At 8:00 Saturday morning, Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn called for the work session to begin. Although there were approximately 50 citizens in the mayor’s conference room, the Mayor informed those in attendance the work session was to give the city council a chance to discuss the smoking ban among themselves. It was also stated that they would not be asking for more input from the public since they had voiced their opinions during recent council meetings.

The discussion centered around four courses of action. One option was to include private clubs in the ban to “level the field,” to quote some of the bar owners in previous statements, an option that garnered three votes. The second option was to leave the ordinance as it is and to give the ban more time to work. This was the option that resulted in a 4-4 tie vote from the council, which left the tie-breaking vote up to the mayor. Mayor Horn supported this option, and the matter was left with the possibility of revisiting the issue in 60 days.

The third option would have given smoking back to the bars by exempting them from the ban, an option that received three votes. The final option was to scrap the ordinance altogether, an option that got no votes at all from the council.

The four votes for the second option were Gallaher, Turley, Roe, and Walters. The votes against the option were Monsees, Lastrada, Cross, Stevenson. The smoking ban remains in effect at this time.

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