After a pair of previous petitions to appeal the smoking ban in St. Joseph, Mo. were denied because of a lack of valid signatures, The Petitioners’ Committee for Fairness in St. Joseph is hoping that the third time will be the charm.
The group needs to deliver 2,568 verifiable signatures in order to have the city council to begin the appeal process. In the first attempt in February, bar owner Steve Peterman and his assistants only managed to collect only 1,759 signatures. The group then withdrew a request for the council to review a petition earlier this month after falling short by just under 400 signatures on a second attempt.
St. Joseph approved a smoking ban ordinance on an April 2014 ballot with nearly 53% of the voters in favor of it. The ban went into effect that June after a judge rejected an injunction as part of a civil suit brought by Peterman over an exemption granted to a casino. The ban prohibits all indoor smoking except on the gambling floor of the St. Jo Frontier Casino, in 10 percent of hotel rooms and in private clubs, but only when employees are not present. Violators can be hit with a fine of $100 for the first instance, $200 for the second violation and up to $500 per subsequent violation within a one-year term.
St. Joseph is located in northwest Missouri and has a population just under 80,000.