Q. - What can I do as a citizen to start some
sort of action to make our restaurants smoke free?? I moved here from
Florida 14 years ago and was shocked then that Terrell still allowed
smoking in restaurants.
We were in a restaurant the other day and the
smoke was so bad we could not even enjoy our meal. There are no walls
dividing the smoking section from the non-smoking section.
I think it is time we make a change!!!!! Please
let me know what I can do.
Answer - Thanks for your inquiry.
At the time you submitted your question, I was carefully following
bills in the Texas Legislature that seemed likely to pass. These bills
banned smoking in most public places including restaurants. It made
sense to me to see how that developed since State Law generally supersedes
As you may know, the proposed bills eventually failed.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who dislikes smoking as much
as I do. However, I also believe that the owner of a restaurant has
the right to allow smoking and patrons of his business can choose to
dine there or not.
That being said, I personally enjoy going places where there is no smoking
at all and I am not inclined to fight a ban on smoking in restaurants.
If you are interested in promoting a ban here are the ways you could
1. You can contact your City Council Member. If you are not sure who
that is call or email the City Secretary, John Rounsavall at 972-551-6600
/ firstname.lastname@example.org If you give him your address he can
give you contact information for your Councilman.
2. You can come to a City Council meeting and speak to the Council.
We take comments from visitors early in the agenda. Comments should
be limited to about 3 minutes. The Council meets at 7:00 PM at City
Hall on the 1st and
3rd Tuesday of each month. We rarely deviate from this schedule but
you can confirm the meeting with the City Secretary. The Council will
hear your request but not discuss it at that meeting. I encourage you
to speak to us
3. The City is governed by the City Charter which serves sort of like
our constitution. In the City Charter there is a provision for citizens
to propose an ordinance. The details of this are below and copied from
the City Charter found on the website. This is a fairly complicated
process and probably not the best way to get started. I suggest you
try option 1 or 2 first.
Article VIII: Initiative Referendum and Recall
Section 8.01. Power of Initiative.
The voters shall have power to propose any ordinance except an ordinance
appropriating money or authorizing the levy of taxes, and to adopt or
reject the same at the polls, such power being known as the initiative.
Any initiative ordinance may be submitted to the council by a petition
signed by qualified voters of the city equal in number to at least ten
percent (10%) of the number of votes cast at the last regular municipal
election, but not less than (250) qualified voters.
Thank you very much for your interest and please accept my apology
for such a long delay in responding. If you have any follow up questions
for me, please feel free to contact
Hal Richards, Mayor