Mayor Walter J. Sullivan said Tuesday that he will ask the City Council to reconsider at its next meeting an ordinance they approved unanimously Monday that requires separate smoking and nonsmoking sections in all public places, including bars and restaurants, and bans smoking entirely in elevators and food stores.
The ordinance, which took immediate effect, states that "smoking in public places is a public nuisance, dangerous and hazardous to the public health, and violative of the right of nonsmokers to breathe air which is free of smoke contamination."
Violators of the ordinance face a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $50, while the owner of an establishment which allows illegal smoking can lose his city license for 15 days.
"I have never received more strenuous response from citizens before on any issue," Sullivan said. "Six phone calls came in before eight o'clock this morning, and the story went into the paper today."
"This proves to me that the motion went through too fast, too hastily to give the citizens a fair shake. The Council heard argument on the motion during the summer, when a lot of citizens are out of town, and they passed it without objection. It doesn't seem right," he said.
Councilman Alfred Velucci said that he will stand by his vote, and that the Mayor will find the Council "united in their support of the motion."
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