Perryville to hold public forum on smoking ban

Published 10:23 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

Perryville City Council wants to hear the public’s opinion about the possibility of enacting a smoking ban in public buildings within the city limits. A public forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, July 8 at the Perryville Community Center.

Perryville Mayor Brian Caldwell said it will be an informal, open forum where everyone will have a couple of minutes to “give their side or state their opinion.”

“As it stands, in a nutshell, basically, we’re talking about one business” that allows smoking — Mr. Miser Food Mart, Caldwell said.

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During its regular meeting in April, Laura Goode, owner of Laura Leigh Photography on Merchants Row, asked the council to consider a smoking ban inside public buildings. She explained there was only one business in Perryville to buy gas and get something to eat, but she couldn’t go inside because of the cigarette smoke.

In April, Caldwell said the previous council had briefly discussed a possible smoking ban but voted to allow individual business owners to decide whether or not to allow smoking inside their business.

Goode replied, “As a new council, you should consider doing this just because if you care about the health of all the people in town, that’s reason enough,” Goode said.

On Friday, Caldwell said he has always taken the stand that he doesn’t want to infringe on any business owner’s right. “It’s up to the business owner. Who am I to tell them not to allow smoking?”

Caldwell said he is not a smoker but he still eats breakfast every morning at the business in question. “It’s my choice. I choose to do that.”

Caldwell said he expects a large crowd to show up for the forum and debate the issue.