A few concerned citizens spoke out against potential changes to the ordinance, which was passed in 2017 to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke. It is being revisited due to downtown business owners – including councilor John Redmond – bringing forward safety concerns about smoking in the alleys.

Mount Shasta’s Smoking Control Ordinance, which prohibits smoking of any kind on streets and sidewalks in the city’s main downtown area, may be tweaked after concerns were brought forward about people being forced to smoke in alleyways, near propane tanks and trash cans.

With just three councilors present at Monday’s meeting, the issue was discussed but ultimately tabled until all five councilors could be present.

A few concerned citizens spoke out against potential changes to the ordinance, which was passed in 2017 to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke. It is being revisited due to downtown business owners – including councilor John Redmond – bringing forward safety concerns about smoking in the alleys.

According to a presentation by city planner Juliana Lucchesi, to goal of the ordinance “is to protect public safety and welfare, and try to strike a balance between smokers and non smokers.”

Redmond, who owns Handsome John’s Speakeasy on Chestnut Street, said it’s dangerous to force people to smoke in alleys, and around potential hazards such as trash containers and propane tanks.

“There are propane tanks in the alleys near Sparky’s, Pipeline, the Vets Club and my place. I don’t see this going well,” he said.

In her presentation, Lucchesi proposed a few ways the council could alter the ordinance, such as distributing literature reminding citizens of the ordinance and the addition of signage.

Mount Shasta Police Department Lieutenant Joe Restine talked about enforcement of the ordinance. He said calls regarding complaints about smoking in public places are a low priority, but when police officers do witness smoking in an inappropriate area or they’re able to respond to a call, generally education is all it takes to make someone change their location or put their cigarette out.

“We are limited, so going out and specifically enforcing smoking is a tough call to make” with the other responsibility facing officers.

Councilor Barbara Wagner liked the idea of keeping the ordinance as is, but reaching out to the public to remind citizens that the ordinance has been set in place for a reason.

At the end of discussion, Mayor John Stackfleth opted to table the discussion. Council members Paul Engstrom and Jeffery Collings were absent from Monday’s meeting.

A map of the smoke-free district can be found at the city’s website at the following link: https://mtshastaca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Smoke-District.pdf

ATC alternates

The city’s Active Transportation Committee requested the addition of alternate members to help round out meetings in case ATC members are unavailable.

Former longtime Mount Shasta City Councilor Tim Stearns spoke on behalf of the committee. He said the five-member committee may soon be a four member committee, due to one member needing time off for health reasons. Stearns and Pope requested the appointment of two alternate members.

“I suggest the city adopt or amend its resolution to allow for (alternate) members,” he said. Two or three alternates could be called upon when the committee can’t muster the three members required for a proper forum.

Councilor John Redmond moved to approve two alternate committee members, which was seconded by John Stackfleth. Barbara Wagner was the sole no vote.

According to the Mt. Shasta City website, ATC was established in 2009 as a Brown Act Committee to act as an advisory body to the council on matters related to local and/or regional alternative transportation issues and other transportation-related matters.

Next meeting

The next city council meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Recreation and Parks District Lodge, located at 1315 Nixon Road, Mount Shasta. City Council agendas are posted within 72 hours prior to the scheduled meeting and are available in person at city hall or online at the city’s website.