City decides to draft ordinance

By Paul Brizz

The DeKalb City Council might decide to somehow restrict the location of cigarette vending machines in DeKalb.

The city council meeting Monday decided to draft an ordinance to restrict minors from using cigarette vending machines in DeKalb. City Attorney Ronald Matekaitis will draft a proposed ordinance that will restrict the accessability of cigarette vending machines to minors.

The issue caused debate from both sides about the severity of restriction, but no one was opposed to some form of regulation.

Sixth Ward Ald. Jamie Pennignton called for a strong and clearly worded ordinance restricting cigarettes to only drinking establishments that have a class A liquor license and to breakrooms in businesses that minors would not be able to enter.

A class A liquor license states that the establishment is a full bar/bar area. To enter these premises, a person must be 21 years old for consumption purposes and 18 years old to work.

Other members of council did not take Pennington’s strict stance on the issue. DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow said, “Let’s not be the leader (make precedence) in this issue, we have enough lawsuits against us.”

“We need to be cautious on this issue. We don’t want to take the philosophy that we argue with the public,” 5th Ward Ald. Bessie Chronopolous said.

It was finally decided that Matekaitis draw up an ordinance stating that cigarette machines be restricted to businesses that can clearly observe and supervise their cigarette vending machines, thus allowing minors not to have easy access to them.