Council takes up smoking ban petition

The Mesquite City Council reviewed an initiative petition committee verification geared towards banning smoking in casinos, bars, restaurants, and even private living areas at its Tuesday, May 8 meeting.

Tracy Beck, Mesquite City Clerk, presented the council with a notice from a Mesquite Clean Indoor Air Initiative Petition committee, that kicks off a months-long process to place a citizen initiative on the November general election ballot to make Mesquite the first locale in the state of Nevada that would ban all smoking anywhere in a casino and many other places.

On a 5-0 vote, the council directed city staff to “determine if the initiative may have any anticipated financial effect on the local government if the initiative is approved by the voters.  If it is determined that the initiative may have an anticipated financial effect on the local government if the initiative is approved by the voters, the council must prepare a description of the anticipated financial effect and the city clerk shall post a copy of this information on the city clerk’s Internet website.”

Beck said the petition must receive valid signatures from 15 percent of registered voters who voted in the 2016 election, which equates to 1,210 signatures. The petition must be completed by June 29 and submitted to the county on that date.

If the petition is deemed successful, the council must appoint two committees of three people each. One committee will construct arguments for approving the initiative and the other committee will write arguments for disapproving the initiative. Those two arguments will then be used on the November ballot for voters to digest.

Beck said it will cost the city between $10,000 and $15,000 to place the initiative on the ballot.

The committee’s cover letter to the council said, “We believe your refusal to take action ignores the health and welfare of Mesquite residents, workers and visitors, and the costs to our community of millions of dollars each year. We are now taking this action because inaction is not an option.

Councilman Dave Ballweg began the council discussion by saying “this is not an advisory issue. If passed by the voters, it will be mandatory.”

Ballweg said the affect on the city’s budget would be wide-ranging including reductions in collections of business licensing fees, less liquor taxes, less gaming taxes and less room taxes. “I penciled it out and I may be wrong but potentially the city could lose $2.5 million. It’s an arbitrary number. The businesses project a drop of 30 to 50 percent in their revenues, at least initially.”

He also said it is important for people to understand that the proposed law bans smoking in more places than just casinos. “If you don’t live in a single-family residence, you can’t smoke in your condo, townhome or even on your balcony or in your yard,” Ballweg said. According to the proposed law, it doesn’t matter if you own the property or not.

Councilman George Rapson pointed out the profit margins for casinos “are not huge. Even a 10 to 15 percent decrease in business will have a significant impact on those businesses. It could be worse than that, but we don’t know. I do believe there will be a financial impact and it won’t be a good one. It’s going to affect rental incomes and a lot of other things because it goes beyond clean air in casinos.

“Property tax revenues to the city will be impacted. Wages and salaries will be impacted if the casinos lay off employees. The way that circulates in the town, every business from gas stations to grocery stores will be impacted. There is layer upon layer that affects the city’s revenues. What happens if something bad happens?”

Councilman Brian Wursten said when he installed gaming machines at the Falcon Ridge golf course, which was a non-smoking facility, the gaming revenues were so small that the distribution company pulled them out. “I have first-hand experience with this issue. We could also lose residents who move out of the city because of this new law.”

Wursten also said “we’re trying to do this in one tiny part of the state. If this was state-wide, I’d be all for it. Just to make Mesquite the Guinea pig, I have a really, really hard time with that. I also know that we’re going to see some legal ramifications and lawsuits from the casinos on this issue. By doing this on a local level, I think we are doing a disservice to our community.”

The law designates the Health Authority and/or the city of Mesquite as the compliance authority. Presumably, the city would be responsible for ensuring compliance and bear all of the associated costs above and beyond what would be collected from fines since there is no designated or dedicated health authority in Mesquite.

The proposed law calls for a fine of $100 for a first violation, $250 for the second violation in one year, and a $1,000 fine for each additional violation within one year of the second violation. No less than 75 percent of the funds collected for violations will be use exclusively for the implementation, compliance, and enforcement of the law.

Comments

  1. Herb Calhoun says:

    This initiative is worthy of my NON-SUPPORT.

  2. Peggy Brady says:

    I don’t: walk through, gamble, see shows, bring my family or eat in the Mesquite casinos because of the smoking. If I have to go into a casino, I walk as fast as possible and stay as short a time as possible. Many, many other casinos (in the US) are smoke free, i’d Like sometime for ours to be that progressive.

    • Jeff Williams says:

      “I’d like sometime for ours to be that progressive.” You mean like in authoritarian and totalitarian rule, right? Smoking ban advocates are more anti-freedom, disgusting, and filthy than than smoking ever will be. Smoking ban advocates manifest a disrespect for the rule of law. That’s bad for all of us, but they don’t care. They never have. They never will.

  3. Pat Galliher says:

    Hey MLN, how about posting the actual initiative petition?

  4. Lee R. Harper says:

    I don’t remember when it was leagal to smoke in a gas station .

  5. Faye Drover says:

    While I am all for no smoking in the casinos, I don’t believe anyone has the right to dictate what I do in my own home whether I smoke or not. This would be a wonderful bill without taking away individual freedoms in people’s own home.

    • Neil Hendricks says:

      My sentiments exactly. This ridiculous overreach guarantees that it won’t get support. How dumb.

    • Lee R. Harper says:

      It doesn’t say you can’t smoke in your own home.
      It says (if you don’t own a single dwelling).

      • fran armstrong says:

        There are many homes that are attached and they would fall under the smoking ban. That fact appears in section 9a. The smoking ban would also include apartments. I am hopeful the community will consider all the facts, If you have been led to believe that all types of housing are exempt from the smoking ban, you need to read the terms in the petition very carefully. A decision which will have such impact on the city needs to be understood by all of us. Whether you are pro or con, make an informed decision.

  6. David S. Chalpman says:

    It would be nice not to have to have the smell of cigarette smoke on my cloths when I return from a casino, but the overreach in this proposal is insane.

    “He also said it is important for people to understand that the proposed law bans smoking in more places than just casinos. “If you don’t live in a single-family residence, you can’t smoke in your condo, townhome or even on your balcony or in your yard,” Ballweg said. According to the proposed law, it doesn’t matter if you own the property or not.”

  7. David Petrillo says:

    Wynn Resorts and MGM are investing $5 billion in two Mass. casinos. They will be Smoke Free. Do you think that they would invest this much money if they thought they would lose money. At last count, only 15% of the population smokes and 85% do not smoke. In addition, the incidence of smokers in poor people is higher than more affluent people. Thus, eliminating smoking in casinos should bring in people with more money. Ballweg’s predictions are ridiculous. They said the same thing when smoking was prohibited in restaurants and bars. I have not seen a reduction in restaurants or bars.

    The casinos in Macau bring in most of the profits reported by the big casino Corps. All of the casinos in Macau are Smoke Free. They have smoke rooms just off the casino floor. No one smokes more than the Chinese but it has not reduced profits in Macau.

    It should also be noted that Councilmen Rapson and Wursten work for or use to work for the local casinos. Full disclosure please.

    • Steve Clutterham says:

      Brian Wursten and George Rapson both stated they do or have worked for casinos. Both now and many times in the past, it is common knowledge. I believe they were trying to share their experiences to give residents some insight into what is actually going to happen when this ordinance passes.

    • Patrick Peters says:

      Where did you get your stats definitely more than 15% of theesquire population smokes I’d say it’s the other way around at least in mesquite I believe this to be ridiculous don’t want to be around it do go around it don’t force people to stop doing it that’s so unamerican

  8. JAY V HOLLIDAY says:

    OF COURSE THIS IS A SIGN OF GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING PRIVATE BUSINESS FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF ONE SPECIFIC GROUP.THIS GROUP WILL BE ABLE TO CONVINCE THE POWERS TO BE IN THE CITY COUNCIL TO FALL TO THE WAYS OF THEIR AGENDA FOR THE “BENEFIT OF THE HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE”.I DO NOT CARE FOR SMOKING(AND IN THIS CLIMATE INCLUDES MARIJUANA,CIGAR,E CIGS OR VAPOR”.HOWEVER AS A BUSINESS OWNER,I BELIEVE IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE OWNERS OF THESE ESTABLISHMENTS TO MAKE THE RULES,NOT THE GOVERNMENT…..IF THE CASINOS MAKE THE RULES,IF THE BARS AND EATING PLACES MAKE THE RULES,THEN ALL CUSTOMERS WILL FOLLOW THEM.DONT MAKE THE BUSINESS OWNERS LOSE MONEY BECAUSE OF THE CITY.IF YOU DONT LIKE THE SMOKE,DONT PATRONIZE THESE ESTABLISHMENTS.THE EMPLOYEES ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE CONDITIONS BEFORE THEY SIGNED ON TO WORK IN THESE ESTABLISHMENTS…..SPEND YOUR TIME TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE 2MILE DESOLATE SECTION OF MESQUITE BLVD WITH CLOSING BUSINESSES, GROCERY STORES,NEWLY CLOSED EATING PLACES,VACANT PROPERTY,AND CLUTTER.THIS CITY HAS NOT PROGRESSED IN THE ECONOMIC SECTOR OF THAT AREA SINCE WE PURCHASED PROPERTY HERE YEARS AGO.SET THE PRIORITIES IN AN ECONOMIC DIRECTION,NOT A REDUCTION IN WHAT BROUGHT CUSTOMERS HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.OR SHALL WE BE COMPLACENT AND LET ONE SPECIFIC GROUP CONTROL OUR LIVES

    • Ann Bley says:

      How about government doing its job: protecting the population so we can experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Cigarette smoke causes cancer. Why does anyone really want to be exposed to it? Smokers can’t walk outside to smoke???

    • Mayor Al Litman says:

      Sir,
      This is not the idea of the city or the city council. This proposed law is coming from a small group of residents who are trying to get this on the ballot. If you listen or watch the city council meetings you would have a better understanding of what Smoke Free Mesquite or whatever they call themselves are attempting.

      • Randy Bauman says:

        A May 2016 Public Opinion Strategies survey of registered voters in Mesquite found that 62 percent favor a local ordinance requiring total smoke-free air in all workplaces, including bars and casinos. The detailed survey was provided to the mayor and city council but they chose to ignore it. 62% is hardly a “small group of residents,” in political terms it is a landslide. Do a google search for: Mesquite Nevada survey smoking, if you care to view facts rather than speculation.

        • Teri Nehrenz says:

          I’m not sure where you got your information but this is what your study indicates. If you are going on the information from the Clean Indoor Air Act(CIAA) folks, it may be just a little bit jaded.

          http://www.lung.org/assets/documents/tobacco/profiles-mesquite-nv.pdf
          In Nevada, 22.8% of the adult population currently smokes,
          11 which in 2011 was tied for the 16th highest
          smoking rate in the nation.
          12 No city-specific smoking data is available for Mesquite; however, based on the
          statewide smoking rate, between 3,254 and 3,998 Mesquite residents may smoke.13
          According to the
          Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), in 2009, 17% of Nevadan youth reported current cigarette use and 6.4%
          of Nevadan youth reported frequent cigarette use, compared to 19.2% and 7.6% for U.S. youth,
          respectively.
          14 12.1% of middle school and 11.3% of high school students in Nevada reported smoking a
          whole cigarette before age 13.15

          You have simply based your statement on a survey conducted strictly by the people fighting for the Smoke Free Mesquite and they surveyed ONLY 300 OUT OF 18,000+ RESIDENTS. The survey above is from the American Lung Association.

          That CIAA survey is hardly something you can actually go by as it doesn’t reflect anywhere near the entire population of Mesquite. 300 is 1.66666666667% of 18,000 so you’re actually only representing 1.6% of the entire population in the survey to begin with. So 62% of that ONE AND A HALF percent of people want to ban smoking.

          MLN did our own survey as well and we got about the same results. Very few people cared enough to even respond. Let’s talk straight about this, shall we? If you’re going to throw out surveys and numbers, make sure they reflect what’s actually happening with this issue.

    • Alice W. Popp says:

      Agree. I moved here to escape a ‘nanny’ state. Love it here, don’t want to have to move again.

  9. Darlene Tornes says:

    You better get your facts straight.
    Only 13% of Mesquite residents smoke.. If. I was a owner of a casino I would be catering to the 87% who don’t smoke,, instead of the 13% who do. St. George does not have smoking any where. So the ones who come here to gamble are used to not smoking. And even if they did I can’t imagine driving 110 miles to Vegas just to have a cigarette.
    You can always go out side and have a cigarette even in St. George with regulations there being 30 ft from a business.
    Obviously Smiths Grocery has had video poker machines with no smoking for years. Many of the residents here won’t go to the casinos because of the smoke, not even to eat. Most other states have no smoking in place at the casinos and other businesses. They are thriving. Out of town visitors are shocked that smoking is still allowed here.
    I truly believe that your opinions on the health of our residents, visitors, and workers are unwarranted. Where are you getting these speculative numbers? When you have actual numbers to publish with some truth behind them then publish.

  10. Steve Clutterham says:

    I am very sad to see Mesquite being forced into a new regulation that will obviously harm our biggest employers. Don’t blame the city council, they have been trying to tell the “Smoke Free Mesquite” people this for a long time now. While it is true that less than 20% of Americans smoke today, there is really no way to tell what the percentage really is here in Mesquite. But the number is irrelevant. Just because 80+% percent of the residents don’t smoke, does not mean that they all want to force local business owners with millions to lose to have to go smoke free.
    I do not smoke and never have. I lost my father and 4 sisters to cancer due to smoking. Believe me, I hate it as much as anyone. I hate going into casinos and breathing the smoke filled air, we all do. I hate sitting at a blackjack table or slot machines where a smoker has been and left it a filthy mess covered in ashes. I hate going home and having to wash my clothes immediately because they smell of cigarettes.
    Now let me tell you a couple of other things I hate. Small groups of people, anywhere, for any cause demanding that other people and businesses change their rules to suit them, instead of them simply choosing not to patronize these locations. I go to the council meeting most of the time. I hate that every time the first people we hear from are the “Smoke Free Mesquite” group, who take their three minutes to read mindless articles, facts and figures that they have down loaded from the internet. Then when they are done they all get up and leave, disturbing the meeting for up to 5-10 minutes while they all meander out of the council room. They rarely stay to hear any of the other items on the council agenda, because they really don’t care what’s happening in the city, they simply care about their pet project.
    No one on the council smokes, and I think most of them agree that making casinos smoke free is a good idea,. I mean, who wouldn’t think it’s a good idea? But it needs to be done on a state level, just as many council members have suggested. You’re all worried so much about employees health? You better worry about how they are going to feed their families with their close to minimum wage jobs and a severe reduction in their tips. Comparing Mesquite to any other town, city or state is unrealistic nonsense. We live off of tourists. One of the reasons golfers love to come here is because they have that choice. They are using vacation time to come here and golf, take away that choice and yes, they will stay in the car another hour and drive to Las Vegas.
    My wife and I moved here for many reasons after visiting just one day. We bought a house that same day and decided this would be our forever home. But if this makes any of the big 3 casinos close, we may have to reconsider that decision. We are active players at the casinos. We would love for them to be smoke free, and they will be. But I beg of you, the citizens of Mesquite, not to let this pass. Smoke free is coming on a state level very soon, as Las Vegas casinos are being pressured just as we are to make this change. I only ask that you use common sense and wait for this to happen on a state level, and please not kill our beautiful city just to get your way a short time sooner.

    • David Petrillo says:

      Mesquite would still be a great place to live if we no longer had casinos. I would argue that it would be a much better place to live without casinos. Casino gambling is a scam that takes money from people under the guise of entertainment. If you want to throw your money away, throw it at a worthwhile charity. Or better yet, invest in more sports fields so more sports teams will come to Mesquite. Without casinos, we could reduce the number of police officers as crime would go down. And we would attract more people who might otherwise not want to live in a casino town. Smoke free casinos will not kill our town.

      • Brandon Cox says:

        It would be a dull boring town if Mesquite did not have any casinos. Hell, this town had 2 major casinos well before the population boom!

        Everyone is complaining about the private business of Mesquite Gaming – but what everyone should be concerned about is getting fined to smoke your own private housing! That is Commie BS and UnAmerican!

      • Steve Clutterham says:

        David Petrillo, you are wrong in every conceivable way. Just because you view gambling as a scam does not mean the bulk of our citizens and visitors do. Many people like my wife and I moved for just that reason. A chance to enjoy gaming without the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. Yes, losing any major casino in this city will turn it into a ghost town. I believe it’s 1100 plus employees at Mesquite gaming, and it must be at least 700+ at Eureka and Rising Star.
        Believe me golfers, baseball tournaments, soccer tournaments, etc., all come here because at night they can enjoy the gaming. Even for the kids tournaments, parents bring their kids here so they can go out at night. That is why the Rising Star was booked well in advance of it’s opening believe me. Don’t fool yourself people, if the casinos close, this will be a ghost town once again.
        The money to run our schools, police department, fire department and city hall will all be gone. Deep Roots Harvest that has invested so much money in our city and pays massive amounts in taxes will move in a minute. Home values will plummet so fast that we will all lose 50% or more on our home investments. Just when a lot of us were finally getting back in the black again.
        It is time to be patient and let this happen on a state level as it has in so many states will gaming. Our time is coming soon, but if we force Mesquite to take the lead even for as little as one year, we are doomed. Don’t fool yourselves my friends, casinos in this town operate on a very small margin to help keep so many residents here employed. You take away even a small percentage of that take, and they will leave. You can bet your bottom dollar on. Trust that is the safest bet you can make right now.

      • Amy Marshall says:

        To David Petrillo: Mesquite would be better off without the casinos? And so where would you tell all of the casino employees to go for work? That’s a huge workforce that you don’t seem to give a damn about. It’s hard enough to live off of the low wages. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck, and juggling our bills so everyone gets their money. Close the casinos, and 1800+ people lose their jobs. All because a small group want to tell others how to live.

    • Dennis Lynch says:

      Steve
      The State of Nevada has already decided that 99% of indoor air will be free of second-hand smoke. Here is the actual provision:

      TOBACCO

      Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act

      NRS 202.2483  Smoking tobacco: Prohibited in certain areas; voluntary creation of nonsmoking areas; local regulation; posting signs; removal of paraphernalia; enforcement; retaliation prohibited.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, smoking tobacco in any form is prohibited within indoor places of employment including, but not limited to, the following:

      (a) Child care facilities;

      (b) Movie theatres;

      (c) Video arcades;

      (d) Government buildings and public places;

      (e) Malls and retail establishments;

      (f) All areas of grocery stores; and

      (g) All indoor areas within restaurants.

      2.  Without exception, smoking tobacco in any form is prohibited within school buildings and on school property.

      3.  Smoking tobacco is not prohibited in:

      (a) Areas within casinos where loitering by minors is already prohibited by state law pursuant to NRS 463.350;

      (b) Completely enclosed areas with stand-alone bars, taverns and saloons in which patrons under 21 years of age are prohibited from entering;

      (c) Age-restricted stand-alone bars, taverns and saloons;

      (d) Strip clubs or brothels;

      (e) Retail tobacco stores;

      (f) The area of a convention facility in which a meeting or trade show is being held, during the time the meeting or trade show is occurring, if the meeting or trade show:

      (1) Is not open to the public;

      (2) Is being produced or organized by a business relating to tobacco or a professional association for convenience stores; and

      (3) Involves the display of tobacco products; andS

      (g) Private residences, including private residences which may serve as an office workplace, except if used as a child care, an adult day care or a health care facility.

      So everyone knows, Clean Indoor Air is just closing one GIANT loophole BIG TOBACCO put in the original bill.

      • Steve Clutterham says:

        Dennis Lynch, I guess you have never been to Las Vegas. Casinos account for much more than 1% of the available square footage of commercial property in the city. Casinos are the biggest employers there. And many. many suppliers live off of those casinos. House sales depend on the casinos to both employ residents and lure more people to move there every year. Forcing casinos to go 100% smoke free will have a huge impact on the city. The ripple effect will be felt in every industry if gaming drops just 5-10%.
        The same thing is true here in Mesquite. Even if we just lose the 4 small independent casinos, it will mean people out of work, unable to support other businesses with their earnings. Time to start looking at the big picture and what being impatient on this matter will really cost us.

  11. Ken Dales says:

    Has anyone polled actual visiting casino patrons? I mean the ones who actually travel to Mesquite, rent rooms, dine and leave their money on the casino floor. It’s the patrons who matter and their feelings will determine the economic impact on Mesquite. Mesquite casinos have world class competition just a short drive to Las Vegas. Also, the video poker room at Smiths is not a casino neither is Wedgies sports bar as their main stream of income is not gambling – very poor examples.

  12. David Petrillo says:

    I read through the proposed initiative and it does not prohibit smoking in your apartment or condo. It does prohibit smoking in the corridors, elevators, and common areas near other units. I suggest. Mr Ballweg get his facts straight. Smoke free casinos will not kill our town no more so than smoke free restaurants and bars did. Let the people of Mesquite weigh the pros and cons and vote accordingly.

    • David Ballweg says:

      Mr. Petrillo: Please refer to Section 9.a.

      9. Where Smoking Not Regulated
      Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Chapter to the contrary, smoking is not prohibited in the following areas:
      a) Private residences that are not contained within a multiple-unit housing facilities, except smoking is prohibited within any private residence that is used as a childcare, an adult day care or a health facility.

      The 9.a statement clearly limits smoking to stand alone residences and states a clear restriction to smoking in multi-family residence. Which would include conventional apartment complexes, condominiums, and even attached townhomes.

  13. Norine Peebles says:

    How about smoke-free areas designated in each casino like in Wendover Nevada? Why does this issue (and every other one it seems) have to be all or nothing? There are ways to make compromises that maintain individual rights while protecting those of others. Ever notice how many employees are standing outside the doors of non-smoking businesses having a smoke? Yeah, me, too. Casual contact with cigarette smoke will not leave an odor on your clothes. That’s overreacting by non-smokers and it’s ridiculous. I moved to Mesquite to get away from the nanny state that is Utah. We dreamt and planned for this move for over 10 years. I think we may have made a mistake.

  14. Margie Hansen says:

    It is government overreach once again. Trying to control ever aspect of people’s lives. How about this: if you don’t like smoking, don’t go to the casinos. Be responsible for your own health. Simple. Like if you don’t want to see topless dancers, don’t go to a strip club.

  15. Mark Wier says:

    Whether you are for or against the Initiative Petition, an Ordinance created by Initiative Petition to prohibit smoking in the casinos and other public areas in Mesquite may not withstand a legal challenge.

    The State of Nevada has operated under the Dillon Rule pretty much since Statehood was granted.

    Dillon’s Rule construes grants of power to localities very narrowly. The bottom line is — if there is a question about a local government’s power or authority, then the local government does NOT receive the benefit of the doubt. Under Dillon’s Rule, one must assume the local government does NOT have the power in question.

    In legal language, the first part of Dillon’s Rule reads: Local Governments have only three types of powers: 1.) Those granted in express words; 2.) Those necessarily or fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted; and 3.) Those essential to the declared objects and purposes of the corporation, not simply convenient, but indispensable.

    It is the second part of the Dillon Rule, however, that puts the vise on local government’s powers. This part states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government, then the power has NOT been conferred. This is known as the rule of local government powers.

    To further complicate the issue, Nevada Revised Statutes clearly dictate local governments can not impose stricter prohibitions on smoking.

    NRS 202.249  Smoking tobacco: Declaration of public policy; enforcement; imposition of more stringent restrictions.

    4.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, an agency, board, commission or political subdivision of this state, including, without limitation, any agency, board, commission or governing body of a local government, shall not impose more stringent restrictions on the smoking, use, sale, distribution, marketing, display or promotion of tobacco or products made or derived from tobacco than are provided by NRS 202.2491, 202.24915, 202.2492, 202.2493, 202.24935 and 202.2494

    Under subsection 5, schools are allowed to have more restrictive rules.

    An Initiative Petition, at the City level, may not be enforceable based on the NRS 202.249. A stricter law would require approval at the State Legislature and by the Governor.

    • Mayor Al Litman says:

      Former mayor Weir is correct in his interpretation of the Statute. This will clearly be challenged in the courts and rightfully so.

      • David Petrillo says:

        As per usual, Nevada will be the last state to ban smoking in all public areas. So much for the local governments protecting its citizens. Smoking related illnesses cost our state multi millions of dollars. Why are we protecting the rights of smokers over the fights of 85 percent of the population? Mayor, you and the Council will be on the wrong side of history. You have a chance to be leaders. It is obvious that you are beholden to the two casino corporations in town. They will also be on the wrong side of this issue. Alienating 85 percent of potential customers is not a smart business model.

        • David Petrillo says:

          Just one more comment. Who will pay the legal fees? The City or the casinos? Why not see what happens with the petition. If enough signatures are obtained, let the citizens of Mesquite decide in November. The local casinos are not very big so it would be very easy for the smokers to go outside when they need to smoke. All this doom and gloom is nonsense. No one will drive to Las Vegas to smoke. If anything, the casinos will be busier with the non-smokers showing up.

    • Dennis Lynch says:

      Oops. Mr Weir does not quite have the facts straight. In his comments, Mr. Weir references the old statute enacted prior to the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. In 2006, the NCIAA was passed and it specifically states that:

      “Nothing in state law shall be construed to restrict local control or otherwise prohibit a county, city or town from adopting and enforcing local tobacco control measures that meet or exceed the minimum applicable standards set forth in this section.”

  16. Randy Bauman says:

    Thanks for your concern but the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act specifically allows for local laws to be stronger than state law. Do you really think that a movement that has been working on this for SIX years doesn’t have experts who know what they’re doing?

    • Lisa Jenereaul says:

      Oh please Randy there is big bucks being paid out to the leaders of this “band of overzealous transplants wearing blue novelty tees”. I read a few years ago that the California women was being paid over 130k for creating this movement. We all know that alot of Canadians, California and Alabama residents who move here can’t wait to change Nevada. These are CASINOS people!!! NEVADA CASINOS!!! You don’t have to go to them if smoke bothers you that bad and I don’t recognize any other public building where smoking is allowed. I think the little blue shirt people have secret gambling addictions and they want all those new penny machines for themselves!!! Jay’s and Steven’s comments on May 9th were excellently written by the way and so were both Mayors. So lets sum this up if little blue shirts get their way: Welcome to Mesquite and stay and play..oh by the way We have legal pot smoking but smoke free everywhere and also liquor that flows 24hrs and no TAXI SERVICE! That’ll get the visitors in for sure!!!

    • Steve Clutterham says:

      No Randy, I think you have a bunch of over zealous experts that don’t care what they’re doing. Just looking to put anther gold star on their resume.

  17. carrie jenkins says:

    Are we still in America?

  18. Russell Clark says:

    Banning smoking in the casinos would make me leave a great place to live. I’m really tired of people trying to impose their likes or dislikes on everybody else. If you don’t like smoking don’t go to the casinos I won’t miss you.

  19. Darlene Tornes says:

    Some folks are making a huge deal of multi-unit housing being included in the circulating petition, but they haven’t stopped to look at how many are already smoke-free. Look at the Southern Nevada Health District’s Smoke-free Housing Directory, where many Mesquite apartment communities are already voluntarily smoke-free. In addition, many condo HOA’s require them to be smoke-free already. I know mine does. Many apartment owners/ operators and condo/ townhome HOA’s know there’s an increased fire risk when they allow smoking in the these types of places and they understand the cost savings of having a cleaner community. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this petition, while helping many people who wish not to be exposed in their apartment or duplex, will also protect the 30% of our community that works in casinos. That should be what we are talking about here.

    • Steve Clutterham says:

      Darlene, if it’s the employees of the casinos you’re so worried about, why not ask them what they think? Not a chosen few, but all nearly 2000 of them. Ask them if they want to risk their livelihood to be Nevada’s guinea pigs for this new law. Would they prefer casinos be smoke free and they not lose their jobs or have a reduction in their tips, of course they would. And by the way, only roughly 10% of our population work in casinos. And when you subtract the people who work two casino jobs, it’s even lower.
      As mentioned previously, “Smoke Free Mesquite” loves to quote stuff they find on the internet. Go on there and look at the hundreds of articles on casinos and cities with casinos that went smoke free and had double digit losses. Casinos in Vegas that tried it in the 80’s and 90’s and had to return to their old ways or closed down due to revenue loss.
      Casino owners, their investors and management teams spend millions of dollars and hours analyzing every aspect of a casino and what makes money and what doesn’t. One thing they figured out a long time ago was that people with addictive personalities like to smoke, drink and gamble, preferably at the same time. Believe me, if this smoking ban passes, our casinos will have double digit losses and will close. You can come at this from every possible angle you want, but it will not change the inevitable.
      Hopefully enough people in this town will use some common sense and wait for this to happen on a state level, which it will, soon. Obviously we all know the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke. Obviously we will be better off with out it, nobody disagrees with that. But let’s not do it at the expense of our beautiful city that we all love so much.

      • Lisa Jenereaul says:

        As usual Steven C. has replied to several writers with knowledgeable, understanding comments! He is not a smoker but obviously he does understand what the ramifications of this proposal would do to our gaming industry here. No one here in town knows the percentage of smokers here that’s a given, to say Utah visitors don’t smoke here, another huge misnomer. Our visiting golfers like to have an occasional cigar and play video poker, sure we know that to be true also. 88 year old Mable loves to go have her “cigg” and play slots especially when its 115* outside! I would like to think that most residents don’t smoke in their homes but if they do none of my business. Smoking is an addiction just as gambling and drinking can be too but it is a privilege to be allowed to do it in casinos. I did personally ask some employees at 2 of the local “bigs” about booting out smokers..all of them hope it wouldn’t happen because the biggest tippers come from smokers/drinkers. The one thing I do want to point out is this…this movement will not stop with just a ban..next they will try to get all the casinos to remodel their ceilings, use Kilz paint and new carpeting just because “it’s a secondhand smoke issue now…then the Alcohol ban will follow or at least cutoff times. Or I know next they will go after the hairdressers here, those fumes alone will kill you! Rights or privileges in America are slowly becoming extinct by small groups screaming the loudest or saying “my way or the highway”. You know this used to be a fun little town, everyones friendly but I am starting to ponder Franklin Tenn?

  20. TonyHardway says:

    I have lived in Mesquite for 21 years we own our home do not shovel snow
    in my military career i never lived in more veteran friendly city
    a few people get there way they start telling me what i can do in my own home
    I do not smoke , but go where it is allow and i am 86 years in this world still alive

  21. David M Shapera says:

    Seems like another case of people from California leaving their crappy state and moving to NV and elsewhere and try to mess up another state. Same thing happens in Arizona. They totally ruin where they live and demand freebies and raise taxes then complain about the cost of living. Don’t want to breath smoke, stay home. Casinos can easily designate smoke free areas just like Laughlin does. Casino workers that desire a smoke free workplace can certainly transfer to the department that works outside and escape from the smoke. Easy. If there is one thing Mesquite casinos and businesses don’t need is more government regulations/interference.

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