ST. CHARLES, MO (KMOX) – A public hearing Monday night was the final opportunity for St. Charles residents to voice their support or opposition to a proposed smoking ban.
“As elected officials, it is your responsibility to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority,” Missouri Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles, said, urging St. Charles City councilmen to vote against the proposal.
“Let’s not be antiquated, let’s get with it,” a supporter of the ban said. “Everything comes from the coasts and it’s coming this way and we are the last ones ones to get it.”
For others, the argument was a legal matter.
“This is not about public health, this is about private property rights,” an opponent to the ban said.
“You have a right to flail your arms around but when it comes in contact with my nose, your rights have ended,” another resident countered.
“We all have choices, we all don’t agree on everything but you have to respect other people’s rights, other people’s freedoms,” one man said.
Almost all in attendance Monday agreed in their opposition to an exemption for Ameristar Casino.
“Decide on principle where you stand – individual rights or public health or private property – but make sure that whatever you stand for, it is fair and it is even,” another resident said. “Otherwise you are never going to hear the end of it.”
City council members now have a few decision to make: whether to propose a ban, and with what exceptions, if any.