How Will Commissioners Vote On No-Smoking

Five days before a strict non smoking ordinance is presented, Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn voices his opinion publicly.    " I think overall it's going to be better for our city to be smoke free. "

Restaurant owner, Commissioner Don Partin is supporting it. He says he has the only smoke free bar in town, but does allow customers to smoke in an outside area. Yet he's willing to change his ways.  " Personally, in the way I feel it's best for a community is that we do stop smoking in public establishments. "

Billy Huddleston, another restaurant owner would like a compromise.    " If it passes, it passes to where they (restaurant owners) could put in an outside facility where their smokers can sit. " Huddleston has been dealing with proposed smoking bans since 2002, that's the first time we took pictures of his restaurant. The businessman won't reveal how he'll vote until Tuesday, but he acknowledges second hand smoke is a health issue.    " I haven't decided which way I'm going to vote, but keep in mind, I do recognize how serious secondary smoking is. "

This pleases the Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition. It's worked for months preparing for a showdown on the often debatable issue. Second hand smoke experts were called in. Public forums suggested. The mayor still preferring to work quietly behind the scenes.   Van Horn said,  " I think with purpose and not with the design to avoid anything." But time to develop a draft without sparking a lot of debate.   Van Horn said,  " Some public meetings don't change anybody's mind that we need to know what the product was that we were going to propose. "

The product is a proposed ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places, including restaurants, bars and places of employment.   Van Horn acknowledged,  " Property owners are losing some rights on this and it is just a compromise again that I think overall is better for the city of Nacogdoches to be smoke free. "

The time has come that a burning cigarette is considered smoking pollution.

To view the proposed no smoking ordinance go to , click on commission agenda/minutes, scroll down to April 15, packet. You can also view it at Nacogdoches City Hall.