Smoking ban sparks debate

By Laura Grandt

It appears the possibility of a smoking ban in DeKalb businesses has been blown out of proportion, said Julia Fauci, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee.

The Citizens Advisory Committee advises the DeKalb City Council. Fauci said this issue concerns air quality, which concerns the committee.

The smoking ban is in very early stages of development. It is on the agenda with the commission while they research other cities that have enacted smoking bans, Fauci said. None of the details of a ban have been decided yet, she said.

City council support for a smoking ban has been paltry, Fauci said. Few aldermen have shown interest in supporting a ban, possibly because of the political nature of the issue, she said.

Any sort of ordinance proposal will have to wait until the board is more sympathetic and the commission can put together enough information to make a convincing argument for a ban, Fauci said.

If and when a smoking ban is proposed, Kim Knowlton, owner of KJ’s Tap and Grill, 518 E. Lincoln Highway, said she will be ready. She is circulating a petition among her customers and others in protest of any type of smoking ordinance in bars and restaurants.

Knowlton said she would go out of business if smoking was banned in her establishment. “I own the building. I think I should be able to decide who does what in here,” Knowlton said.

Fauci encourages feedback on the committee’s examination of a smoking ban. She said anyone with input is welcome to attend a committee meeting. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month in the Community Development Suite of the Annex, 223 S. Fourth St.