Oversight leads to Cape Girardeau council meeting again to vote on smoking ban tonight

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 ~ Updated 1:36 PM
Michael Imparato smokes a cigarette after lunch Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 at Patty Lou's Cafe in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

What Mayor Harry Rediger characterized as an oversight has prompted the Cape Girardeau City Council to call its second meeting in five days to get the smoking ban on the ballot.

The meeting will be tonight at 7 p.m. at the council's chambers at city hall.

At its special meeting Friday, the council thought it had put the ban on the April 5 ballot with an emergency reading. The council voted unanimously to do that, but afterward council member John Voss brought up a problem.

The mayor had only read the ordinance once. To fulfill charter requirements, an emergency reading requires the ordinance to be read three times.

"I declared it was an emergency reading," Rediger said this morning. "But I didn't read it three times. I read it once."

Rediger acknowledged it was an oversight on his part, as well as city manager Scott Meyer and city attorney Eric Cunningham. So the city set an emergency meeting, where the council will vote on an ordinance that does the same thing, but is only different by the ordinance number.

"Since it was a controversial thing, John didn't want somebody coming back and saying we didn't follow the charter," Rediger said of Voss' concerns. "So we're going to go back tonight and follow the charter."

While most council ordinances are discussed at two regularly scheduled meetings, the smoking ban ordinance needed to be done quickly to meet a Jan. 25 elections deadline.

"It's no big deal," Rediger said of tonight's meeting. "It's not a news story. I don't anticipate anybody will change votes. We just want to make sure there isn't any room open for someone to legally challenge the ordinance. We wanted to do it right to follow the charter."

Rediger doesn't expect the meeting to take long, he said: "About a minute and a half."

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

701 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, Mo

Map of pertinent addresses

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