Mayor's Tie-Breaking Vote Rejects Smoking Ban Exemption Bill

The Brentwood Board of Aldermen voted on the bill during a meeting on Monday night.

In a move that firmly kills the four-month debate surrounding a potential smoking ban exemption for , Mayor Pat Kelly cast a tie-breaking vote against the exemption on Monday night.

Third Ward Alderman Andrew Leahy reintroduced a bill that would have amended a city ordinance to allow smoking in the veterans hall. It was originally , but Second Ward Alderman Mike Marshall was absent because of health reasons. An approving vote from Marshall would have given the post the total votes it needed to gain an exemption. That gave Leahy and supporters hope.

But Third Ward Alderman Keith Robertson switched his vote. He initially voted in favor of an exemption during February's meeting but voted against it on Monday, resulting in a 4-4 tie that required Kelly's tie-breaker. The board offered no debate during the meeting before members cast their votes.

First Ward Alderwoman Barb Clements, Fourth Ward Alderwoman Lorraine Krewson and Fourth Ward Alderman Tom Kramer also voted against the exemption. Leahy, Marshall, First Ward Alderman Anthony Harper and Second Ward Alderman Lee Wynn voted in favor of it.

After the meeting, Kelly said he would have if it passed the board and he was happy it didn't come to that.

"I'm glad I could cast a vote," Kelly said. "I feel very strongly about it. It's a health issue."

Robertson said he's "very anti-smoking" and he changed his mind because he hadn't considered how many veterans might join the post now that it's smoke-free.

Post leaders have an exemption because they expect bar-goers—who pay for 90 percent of the post's revenue—to seek smoking refuge at in Maplewood or Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3500 in Richmond Heights, two nearby veterans halls where smoking is still allowed inside.

Pat Maloney (Wilken) April 05, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Well Mayor Kelly, I truly am sorry I am not a citizen of Brentwood, because if I were, I would surely NOT vote for you to be mayor again. I understand "you feel strongly" about the ban, and its being a health issue. I also, personally, feel strongly about not smoking....as I have COPD.....but I would not presume to put my 'personal feelings' upon other people, and I don't know why you feel you should. Shame on you, Mr. Mayor....and also on Brentwood....who deems it their responsibility to have a ban that is not what we voted for. And for the life of me, I cannot figure out why you would put a ban in place, that affects only three places in your city. I am really getting tired of government taking what the people vote on, and deciding that that is not good enough for their personal agendas. It's just too bad that the American Legion Post has to suffer, because of it. Also, Mr Robinson, we will let you know how many "new members" we get, if any.....but I really don't think it will make up for the ones that we have lost......it will not even be close.
Jack Suntrup April 05, 2011 at 04:51 AM
It's reasons like this the Brentwood voters should regret their decision to extend terms to four years. Because of this, you cannot hold Pat Kelly accountable for this decision for another 4 years. I'm not an expert in law, but maybe Patch should investigate ways to reverse the law (term extensions and smoking bans) through petition or something? Or maybe the mayor could be recalled? I don't know. The apathy of the Brentwood people is troubling at times. I doubt anything would get moving. Good luck to the Post. Move to Rock Hill!
Pat Maloney (Wilken) April 05, 2011 at 04:55 AM
I have to apologize.....it's Mr. Robertson, not Mr. Robinson......Sorry.
Scott Simon April 05, 2011 at 11:54 AM
Typical ninny, oops meant to write nanny politicians. Wonder if any of those who voted no ever stepped foot in the place. Probably not.
Bill McKenzie April 05, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Shame on Mayor Kelly and the rest of them. Many veterans smoke because the federal government gave them free cigarettes when they were in the service. Now city government tells them they cannot smoke in a gathering place for veterans. Does this make sense? I don't smoke but I don't need you to protect me from smoking. I can do that myself.


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