For the record …
Jeffersonville mayor signs smoking ban, by Alex Davis (short shelf life for Courier-Journal links).
After nine days of deliberating, Jeffersonville Mayor Rob Waiz signed the city's first ban on smoking in public places (on Thursday).
In conversations around town, many people have asked whether such a debate, much less an actual legislative proposal, might emanate from New Albany’s city council -- at least in our brief lifetimes.
In a previous article by the C-J’s Davis, it was written:
Larry Kochert, a member of the New Albany City Council, said he is encouraged by Jeffersonville's move to limit smoking.
He said he considered a similar ban for New Albany about five years ago but dropped it after realizing that support wasn't there.
Kochert said public opinion about smoking has changed, though, and he predicts that the momentum from bans in Louisville and possibly Jeffersonville might be enough to turn the tide in New Albany.
"People who smoke infringe upon my rights," Kochert said. "If I walk into a restaurant, I should be able to breathe clean air."
Sorry, but we’re having trouble envisioning CM Kochert swimming against the tide of ignorance upon which he generally relies for succor, and assuming the progressive leadership role in advancing such a proposal, which if nothing else would require energy, commitment and an appreciation for the realm of ideas.
Like they say, three strikes and you're OUT.
It’s even harder to imagine support for a smoking ban amongst the Gang of Four’s other three card-carrying obstructionists, and even if there were such miraculous interest on the right side of the council table, the continuing absence of any coherent principle of leadership within their ranks surely would doom any effort to stumbling irrelevance, if not incestuous malevolence.
And while it is conceivable that one of the council’s four remaining Democrats might make the issue his or her own, it is less likely that the body’s lone Republican would agree, and it is virtually guaranteed that the Gang of Four would oppose any proposal made from the left side of the council table … which means that almost any way the deck is cut, chances look slim that the current city council will consider a smoking ban any time before 2008.
But two years hence? When mandated redistricting causes the Gang of Four to become the Gang of Two, or even one? When Councilman Cappuccino takes his well-earned retirement to a thatched-roof hovel in the south extremity of Westendia?
If a smoking ban were offered early in 2008 by a city council with a reformist majority, it would be accepted by the voting public and largely forgotten by the following election in 2011, and consequently quite cheap in terms of political fallout.
If we’re still around then, or even if we're not, just remember: You heard it here first.