Ketchum considers banning smoking from city
Police chief says enforcement would be impossible
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
The Ketchum City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday night for the
citys staff to draft a no-smoking ordinance that would not allow smoking in any
public building citywide, including bars and restaurants.
A proposed draft of the ordinance will return to the council at a regular
meeting on either March 6 or March 20.
Ketchum Police Chief Cal Nevland, however, said enforcing such an
ordinance would be an "absolute nightmare" and "close to impossible."
"I cant imagine the possibility of being able to enforce
it," Nevland said in a Tuesday interview.
Nevland said that if such an ordinance were statewide, like in California,
it may be easier to enforce. But particularly because Ketchum is a tourist community,
Nevland said, education efforts would be somewhat fruitless.
Council members didnt consider enforcement when they asked city
staff to draft an ordinance. Health and safety were on their minds.
"I support anything that would protect the employees [of local
establishments]. If the owners arent going to act, it has to come from a table like
this," Councilman Maurice Charlat said in making his decision.
Customers can choose whether to go to a restaurant or not; employees
cannot, several of those attending the meeting pointed out.
Hailey resident Randy Van Dyke generated the idea for such an ordinance.
At the meeting, he said second-hand smoke is too much of a health issue to be ignored any
Van Dyke and several Ketchum residents at the meeting pointed out that the
north-valley city is a place people move to, in part, because of its health and fitness
The city would simply be affirming its residents healthy ways of
life, Ketchum resident Frank Meyer said.
Van Dyke turned 86 petition signatures into the city, which support
drafting an ordinance. The signatures were collected from around the city, including
several of the citys bars.
Pioneer Saloon manager John Craig spoke at the meeting in favor of
drafting a no-smoking ordinance. He said he had the support of the Pioneers owner,
"This would be a chance for you to do something for the health of the
community," Craig said.
Other local bar owners were hesitant to comment this early, or
werent immediately available.