After waiting a month to hear whether the Brentwood Board of Aldermen would approve a smoking ban exemption for American Legion Goff-Moll Post 101, legion members will have to wait some more.
In front of a crowd of members and supporters during a meeting on Monday night, the aldermen voted to hold a discussion on the exemption at its meeting next month. The board made a similar move at its meeting last month.
First Ward Alderwoman Barbara Clements and Fourth Ward Alderwoman Lorraine Krewson said they wanted to discuss the amendment at a Public Safety Committee meeting before the board votes on it.
The city's smoking ban, which is more restrictive than the St. Louis County smoking ban, took effect on Saturday. Legion members are no longer allowed to smoke in the veterans hall.
Leo Lang, the first vice commander of the post, spoke on behalf of the hall. He said bar sells create 80 percent of the post's income, and expects the income to drop dramatically if an exemption isn't made.
"This income allows us to maintain the building and continue our works," Lang said. He talked about the post providing funds for Brentwood High School band uniforms and donations to children of parents who are serving in the military overseas.
He said veterans halls in Maplewood, Richmond Heights and Shrewsbury all allow smoking and have reached out to the post's membership. If the exemption isn't made, he expects membership to dwindle.
Post Commander Ed Hoffher made similar statements during last month's Board of Aldermen meeting, where First Ward Alderman Anthony Harper said the exemption would be unfair to Brentwood businesses.
"We are a not-for-profit organization, and it's a private club," Hofherr said. "It's not like the commercial organizations."
The board will wait to hear from the Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Clements, before voting at next month's meeting. She said the committee plans to meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday or Friday. After a meeting time is established, Maplewood-Brentwood Patch will bring you more details.
Editor's note: How do you feel about the smoking ban? We would love to publish your thoughts in a Letter to the Editor.