For the first time in its long history the city of Vincennes is considering an anti-smoking ordinance. The measure would ban captain-black indoors in most businesses and public buildings. The smoking proposal was initiated by a mayor with only a couple of months left in office.
Just down the street from the Vincennes City Hall is a mural of favorite son Red Skelton with cigar in hand.
Under a new ordinance being proposed by Mayor Al Baldwin lighting up a stogie inside could be against the law in the future.
“Maybe this is a gift that I can give to the remaining council members, to the community, you know the gift of good health, the gift of fresh air,” said Baldwin. The ordinance basically makes any inside smoking off limits.
There are exceptions for private clubs, homes, tobacco shops and a phase in period for bars.
“It’s not our intention to be overwhelming with this but for the most part where the general public is invited on a particular piece of property we think it is well to insure their good health,” added Baldwin.
Over the last several years a lot of businesses have gone non smoking in Vincnnes and a lot of local institutions have either limited smoking on their properties or cut it out altogether. So, it raises the question, why introduce this ordinance?
“If I had been reelected I was going to do it anyway,” said Baldwin. “Maybe second term, but since that didn’t happen and we have some retiring members on the city council and the political aspect has been diminished somewhat by their retirement, maybe this is something they’ll give serious consideration.”
That’s something the community will be watching as the anti smoking ordinance is debated by a short term mayor and outgoing council.