The Campbell County Fiscal Court's new members took steps at their first meeting to revoke the countywide smoking ban their predecessors approved in December.
At the end of a standing-room-only meeting that earlier had been attended by several dozen opponents of the ban and some proponents, the court's three county commissioners, led by newly elected Pete Garrett, indicated they plan to revoke the ban, likely within the next two meetings.
On Garrett's motion Fiscal Court voted 3-1 to direct new Campbell County Attorney Steve Franzen to write legislation repealing the ban so it can receive the first of two required readings during their Jan. 19 meeting in Newport. The second reading and vote likely would happen Feb. 2 in Alexandria.
Garrett was joined by newly elected commissioner Brian Painter and Ken Rechtin, while Campbell Co. Judge Executive, Steve Pendery was the remaining vote in favor of the smoking ban.
I gotta say, while I do not agree with Pendery on this issue, I have to admire his cajones. (Can I say that on a blog?) After a nationwide decimation of bigger government that did not leave out our local races, and knowing full well that this meeting for repeal was going to take place, he stuck to his guns.
You'd have thought his constituents resounding message would help move him off of this stance, but apparently not.
I'd like to point to a few local examples of business owners making their own choices, regardless of a government interventions.
1) The Olde Fort Pub transitioning it's "family friendly" dining room. Giving customers the freedom of being able to eat without being bothered by smoke.
2) The 915, which according to comments on Fort Thomas Matters, has gone downhill. Almost every person that comments negatively mentions being engulfed in smoke. I don't see their balance sheet, but these comments generally take the temperature of the community. I would bet that the overpowering smell that billows from the restaurant is hindering sales.
3) The marquis at the Skyline Chili on Carothers Road boasts "smoke free starting March 1." I'm sure for whatever reason, management of that restaurant deemed that decision to be the best possible one for that location.
The common thread among all three of these examples are that the owners of these businesses have made a conscious choice - to allow smoking or not - and have deemed their decision the best possible thing for their individual situation. Customers could patronize these businesses based on this decision alone, but at the end of the day, no government official should tell any business owner how to succeed or fail.