Fickett and Ivan
A debate over smoking has the potential to spark
some flames at Parkville.
If at least one Parkville alderman gets his h,
public smoking in Parkville restaurants will soon
be a thing of the past, though it appears opposition
to the idea is lining up as the board of aldermen
prepare to debate the proposed municipal ban on
smoking in public places.
Alderman J.C. Charlie Poole is asking
the board to consider a municipal ban on smoking
in public places.
Poole, who described the non-smoking bans as
a wave of the future," is one of many
across the country battling for the implementation
of the smoking ban in public places.
This is a growing issue in a lot of communities,
Poole told The Landmark this week. What
it really comes down to is a health care issue
and the cost that it affords all of us in the
Copies of a survey were distributed that revealed
cities that already have such regulations in place.
However, Poole didnt request any action
until after further discussion at the Sept. 21
meeting of aldermen.
Ultimately, its up to the will of
the board of aldermen, Poole said. I
feel that people should have the right to have
a smoke-free establishment.
Tom Hutsler, president of the Parkville Main
Street Association, believes that while the future
may include a municipal smoking ban, its
an issue for a higher level of government.
I believe that no smoking in a public establishment
is inevitable. But I think we need to look at
approaching this from a state or local level,
not little ol Parkville, stated Hutsler.
While Hutsler says the Parkville restaurants
will cooperate with the boards decision,
he feels the ban would put an economic pinch on
local business owners.
These businesses are really important to
the Parkville area. Theyve spent a lot of
time and money to build their customer base,
explained Hutsler. These little restaurants
cant afford a 15-25% drop in business because
smokers are going to other establishments that
dont have the ban.
Jim McCall, owner of Papa Franks restaurant at
2 East 2nd Street, Parkville, agrees with Hutsler.
I have no problem with the ban as long
as it doesnt create a disadvantage for us,
with other restaurants outside of Parkville. If
they do it, they need to keep it on a level playing
field and do it in context with other cities in
the area, said McCall.
For Mayor Kathy Dusenberry, she also feels the
Parkville restaurants may feel an economic downshift
if a smoking ban was implemented.
To be quite honest, economically Im
not for it. Im not a smoker, and my husband
lost his mom to lung cancer, said Dusenberry.
Its not good for Parkville economically.
Theres so much competition in the restaurant
business these days, and if we take such a strong
stand on an issue it could hurt us economically.
Currently, at least two Parkville restaurants
have voluntary placed a ban on smoking, including
Piropos and Cafe Des Amis.
For Dusenberry it comes down to letting each
establishment make its own choice on whats
best for its business and patrons.
We have two restaurants already that are
smoke free. If it's so good for the restaurant
business, why don't more of them become smoke-free?
The rest of them can go smoke free if they want
to, but let it be their choice, Dusenberry
"Not one citizen has ever complained to
me about smoking. We don't really have any taverns,
we have nice restaurants. Why do we need to dictate?"