GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS
PROPOSED SMOKING BAN WORKSHOP MEETING - 02-08-07

Overview:

The Glenview Village Hall meeting room was packed Thursday evening and the meeting lasted over two hours. This time the village board was very polite and impartial, versus the Illinois Senate Committee Hearing Board members' behavior in Chicago last October. Many of the "Smoke Free" resident advocates were extremely obnoxious and typically expressed their "I, me, my" interests through their speeches, rude gestures and audible audience comments. Several business owners and pro-choice, free-market advocates spoke.

Ralph Conner and I both spoke (under the heading of the Heartland group), sponsored by Linda Casey (registered voter and resident of Glenview). There were over 30 speakers. I would venture to say that Glenview will not be passing a stringent smoking ban in the near future.

I have also included below the titles of the contents for the informational packets prepared in hard copy format and distributed to each of the six Glenview Trustees and the Village President.

To share the general mood presented by the rag-tag band of resident Glenview anti-smokers present, I will publish a copy of an "un-biased" recap of the Glenview meeting from the "widely acclaimed" JOURNAL & TOPICS NEWSPAPERS | WEEK OF FEBRUARY 11, 2007, which should help to reflect the general mood of these vigilante overrun local meetings and news reports.

I find it strange that suddenly, momentarily taking a sip of water has become another suspect symptom of smoking, when most public speakers have water available while speaking. Shame on you, Andrea Zelinski, whoever you are, if this represents your best journalistic skills! - Garnet Dawn

Note: To view a video of the Glenview Board Meeting, click on this link:

http://glenview.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=71

It may be helpful to others who will be attending local smoking ban meetings in the future. I haven't been able to record this, but it will remain available until next Thursday (02/22/07).

I warn you, the meeting is over two hours long. Still, toward the beginning is my talk, a few really wonderful and dynamic speakers after me, and Ralph Conner's speech....afterward, it's all the "disgruntled North Shore diners" whining how they want government tyranny and smoking banned in Glenview private businesses.....

http://www.journal-topics.com/gv/07/gv070211.1.html
Smoke Draws A Crowd
Village Weighs Pros, Cons Of Possible Ban

By ANDREA ZELINSKI

Journal Reporter

Over 100 crowded into Glenview's Village Hall for what would be a long, personal discussion between constituents about imposing a local smoking ban.

About 30 residents, business owners and advocates on both sides of the smoking debate relayed their thoughts, opinions and experiences to the Glenview Village Board of trustees in hopes their words wouldn't fall upon deaf ears.

Joe Barrett of the Glenview Chamber of Commerce told board members the chamber would not take a stance on the issue.

Other speakers ranged from local residents, neighboring patrons, doctors and business owners.

"Do not let Glenview be the ash tray of the North Shore," said resident Ellen Brow.

The smoking ban debate comes after Cook County adopted the Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, which prohibits smoking in most enclosed public places, like bars, taverns and restaurants. The list also includes places like arcades, bowling alleys, and performance spaces.

Cook County gave all local municipalities until Mar. 15, 2007 to establish their own, custom-made ordinance. If the board does not enact its own ordinance or adopt the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act, which will maintain the status quo, the village will adopt the county's ban by default.

The smoking ban workshop was held Thursday evening, Feb. 8, at Village Hall.

Many members of the audience wore round stickers at the workshop, reading "everyone deserves smoke-free indoor air."

Pro-smoking ban speakers argued that restaurant patrons aren't the only people that suffer from second hand smoke. They noted that business employees who might have to work in the environment for eight hours a day suffer too.

Garnet Dawn Scheuer, a representative from the Heartland Group representing smokers rights, said the health threats of second hand smoking have been exaggerated. When Scheuer stopped to take a breath and a sip of water during her speech, the group quietly chuckled. One woman whispered "she smokes too much."

Meanwhile, some business owners argue that their smoking customers will take their business else where.

Tom Hanson, new owner of Brother's Tavern said he hasn't been around long enough to survive that drop in business.

The workshop never turned emotional or snippy, but rather a consistent plead with the village board to keep all options considered when deciding on a possible smoking ban.

Of the members on the board, only one of them have been regular smokers. Trustee Philip O'C. White said he used to smoke but quit cigarettes in 1962 and cigars in 1992. Both trustees James Patterson and Paul Detlefs said they smoke an occasional cigar. Trustee Kimbal Woodrow was absent from the workshop.

The board didn't take any votes at the workshop but plans to discuss its options at the Feb. 20 board meeting. The board may decide to vote at that meeting or push the decision back to its Mar. 6 session.


Speech Content: Delivered to Glenview Village Board Meeting - February 8, 2007

Thank you, Village President Cummings and the Glenview Board of Trustees for allowing me to speak this evening. Also, thank you to Glenview resident, Linda Casey, for sponsoring me. I have prepared a related packet of information for each of you.

My name is Garnet Scheuer and I am the Founding Director of Illinois Smokers Rights and I am speaking as a member of the Heartland Group on the Agenda. We are a relatively new organization that has developed on behalf of smokers and non-smokers who object to smoking bans and the unfair taxation of cigarettes. We promote pro-choice and free market solutions.

The health risks of second-hand smoke are vastly exaggerated. The poison is in the dose...and the dosage from SHS in a decently ventilated and filtrated establishment cannot pose health threats.

To date, no tobacco studies have been able prove the health risks from Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Smoking bans are not about health. They never have been. They are about power, money and control.

Our previous Surgeon General Carmona issued a massive study as one of his final accomplishments, stating that "The debate is over".

However, contrary to his media statements and Executive Summary, the report was simply a rehashing of the same studies that have already been circulated and are still inconclusive.

Since the Illinois Clean Indoor Act in 1989 banned smoking in public buildings, tobacco smoking has been eliminated from all indoor areas where the public may be required to go, and has greatly reduced any exposure to tobacco for people who find it objectionable.

Now, the remaining private businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry are being targeted by tobacco control activists.

A fact seemingly ignored is that approximately 70% of restaurants and bars have already elected to become smoke-free....and that should be their choice because they are still privately owned businesses and on personal property....even if the public is invited to enter. Business owners need to have their property rights defended, not removed.

More restrictive smoking bans in restaurants and bars will not save one single life. Smoking bans DO hurt small businesses.

Economic studies that bundle together revenue levels from large chain restaurants, previously smoke-free businesses and fast food operations with privately owned restaurants, bars and bowling alleys, do not reflect the true damage done to the individuals who have been brave enough to invest their futures, money and time into their businesses.

Smoking bans are promoted by massively wealthy Charitable Organizations, and government agencies.

The ACS spent $4 million dollars to promote passage of the Chicago smoking ban. The public is not crying out for smoking bans. What do you think would happen to public support if Tobacco Control funding to flood the media with anti-smoking/anti-smoker messages was stopped????

When smoking is completely banned in restaurants and bars, you don't just inconvenience smokers or strike a blow for public health. You violate my private property rights, and simultaneously violate my individual liberty, my right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

So, what about your neighboring communities and the way they are handling smoking ban ordinances? Arlington Heights, Wheeling and Prospect Heights have passed less restrictive bans than the one proposed by Cook County. In Highland Park and Deerfield, everyone just goes to Highwood.

Alsip, Antioch, Carbondale, Decatur, Fox Lake, Gurnee, Jacksonville, Joliet, Machesney Park, Mundelein, Orland Hills, Park City, Peoria, Rockton, Streator, and Towanda have refused bans.

Oak Forest, Orland Park and Tinley Park have temporarily rescinded their bans. (Oak Forest and Orland Hills decided to lift the ban until March 14, when Cook County's ban takes effect. Tinley Park lifted its ban until Feb. 21. Oak Forest officials said they might go even further and rescind the ban entirely.)

Regarding the Springfield smoking ban, I am quoting Steve Riedl, Executive Director of the ILBA, from a December news story in the Daily Herald: “The (smoking) ban enacted September 17th in Springfield...has cut bar business by an average of 50 percent.”

For anyone who has a doubt that smoking bans have an economically negative impact on private hospitality venues, I would like to have one major question answered by the Smoke Free ban proponents who continue to trumpet that smoking bans do not hurt business in the hospitality industry. Why is the “level playing field” issue always raised as a solution to any city, community or county already suffering under a draconian smoking ban? Why should a “level playing field” even be required? That logic is a contradiction.

Thank you

______________________________
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com
Illinois Smokers Forum - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/illinoissmokers/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Glenview Smoking Ban Information Packet - 02/08/07





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