The ordinance, which was passed in 2017 to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke was revisited due to downtown business owners – including councilor John Redmond – bringing forward safety concerns about smoking in the alleys.

The Mount Shasta City Council took their time discussing possible changes to the city’s Smoking Control Ordinance Monday evening before ultimately deciding to leave it as it is.

The ordinance, which was passed in 2017 to protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke was revisited due to downtown business owners – including councilor John Redmond – bringing forward safety concerns about smoking in the alleys.

During Monday’s meeting, City Planner Julina Lucchesi described how the planning commission modeled the ordinance on those of Alameda and Calabasas. It bans smoking of all kinds on the main streets of the downtown area.

According to Lucchesi, and many citizens against removing or changing the ordinance, enforcement of the ordinance is difficult.

“Overall, there are about two individuals who repeatedly call in to the police department, and we have a small contingency who reports downtown, but not much other input is given,” Lucchesi said.

Mount Shasta Police Chief Parish Cross was present to answer any questions about enforcement. Councilor Barbara Wagner asked if citizens could get involved by reminding people of the ordinance.

Cross said he believed everyday citizens would probably not be successful.

Mayor John Stackfleth asked if a specific code enforcement officer would help the issue. Cross said he believed it wouldn’t, although such an officer is valuable to the community.

During the public comment section, the council was presented with a barrage of facts regarding second hand, first hand and even third hand smoke, and the health effects of each.

“There is no way to truly enforce this, other than personal enforcement,” said Ken Brummell-Smith during public comment.

The council agreed that the ordinance has made a difference.

Businesses don’t want it repealed, Lucchesi said, because it has helped curb smoking near business entrances and in other areas.

Many suggested adding signage so people are aware of smoking and non-smoking areas.

Councilor Paul Engstrom told the council of a recent trip to Ashland, Ore. and showed them photos of their no smoking signs. He noted that the signs seemed “simple and inexpensive,” and that he “didn’t see one persons smoking.”

Engstrom also brought up enforcement, and said most everyday people “don’t want to get involved” when it comes to smokers having a puff in public.

Engstrom made a motion to direct council and staff to investigate costs for additional signage without changing the ordinance. The motion was seconded by councilor Jeffery Collings, and was approved by a 4-1 vote, with yeas from John Redmond and Stackfleth. Councilor Barbara Wagner cast the sole no vote.

Library Governance

The council voted to designate the Library Tax Advisory Committee as the library’s Board of Trustees, and to change the name of the committee to be the Library Tax and Operations Advisory Committee to better reflect what they do.

The council heard a report from Courtney Laverty, Executive Director of the Mount Shasta Library, who explained that the library is funded by sales tax.

The Library Tax Advisory Committee, or LTAC, has been responsible for creating a budget for the library and its priorities, Laverty said.

“We discuss, make modifications, bring it to council to approve, and it seems to be working fine,” she said.

The councilors currently act as the library’s Board of Trustees.

Wagner explained that there is no public mandate for how libraries operate, and their management is up to local jurisdictions to decide.

Wagner went on to describe how according to state law, a municipal library must be governed by a Board of Trustees, which would need to meet every month. She had qualms regarding LTAC and their bi-annual meetings.

Wagner had previously asked staff to find the American Library Association’s recommendation for the board of trustees and their qualifications. She said she recieved no answers.

Collings asked what the trustees actually do and said from what he understands, the only change being suggested is that the advisory committee be changed to a more general library advisory committee, and in that case, “our roles don’t change at all.”

Engstrom moved to support staff recommendation to designate LTAC as the Board of Trustees to reflect the mission as stated on the City of Mount Shasta website. He also asked the council to consider changing the name of the committee to the Library Tax and Operations Advisory Committee.

The motion was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Wagner casting the sole no vote.