Attendees of two recent, city-sponsored open house meetings were split on the issue of whether to further restrict smoking in public areas such as bars and restaurants.
When asked whether the City of San Marcos should further restrict smoking, 51 percent of 89 attendees said yes, 48 percent said no, and one percent expressed no opinion. A combined 97 attendees logged their names at the open house meetings, which occurred on July 18 and July 21.
When asked whether smoking and second-hand smoke is a problem in San Marcos, 56 percent of 89 attendees answered in the affirmative. When asked whether the city is the appropriate entity to address the issue, 60 percent of 85 attendees said yes.
The city sponsored the open houses to inform the public, obtain input from citizens, and receive guidance from them regarding how a non-binding proposition on public smoking should appear on the November ballot. The proposition would not become law upon voter approval, though the council would likely craft an ordinance reflective of the election’s outcome.
Those who did not attend the open house meetings may offer comments on the city’s Smoke-Free Message Board at www.sanmarcostx.gov.
The non-binding proposition will appear on the November election ballot unless at least two councilmembers change their minds by early September. The council has not yet voted to put such a proposition on the November ballot, though councilmembers have directed city staff to prepare the proposition for a council vote in August.
According to the city, the public feedback collected on the issue will be assembled into a comprehensive presentation for the councilmembers at their Aug. 2 meeting, where they may decide on the language to be included in the non-binding ballot proposition.