Most of the time, the second reading of a bill is nothing more than a formality before the bill passes and becomes law. This even more so true when a bill passes unanimously at its first reading, given the same people are tasked with voting on the bill in both occasions. For Dells, Wis. and its proposed smoking ban for public parks, paths and trails none of that seemed to matter.
At Monday’s Common Council meeting the measure was tabled until Mayor Brian L. Landers could be present to explain and defend the proposed legislation. Multiple government officials including city aldermen and the former mayor voiced concerns about the proposed law. Chief amongst them was how veterans would be able to enjoy their traditional cigar before the city’s annual 21-gun salute each Memorial Day.
In addition, officials raised concern about how the bill would be enforced, particularly for tourists who come to visit the city’s water-themed resorts, and whether too many rights were being infringed upon. Alderman Ed Fox indicated he had received a variety of phone calls regarding the implantation of said law, including the cost of enforcement, while Alderman Mike Freel objected to the surprise introduction of the bill at the previous meeting.
Mayor Landers has been supportive of the anti-smoking effort with his sights set on a full sidewalk smoking ban after the proposed parks ban passed. Now that will have to wait until Sept. 8, when the Common Council next convenes.
Dells is located in the southern part of the state and is uniquely located in four different countries—Adams, Columbia, Juneau and Sauk. It has a population just over 2,500 and claims to be the Waterpark Capital of the World.