In a surprise move on Tuesday, Muskegon County (Michigan) Commissioners delayed a final vote on an ordinance that would have banned smoking on county property.
Following last Thursday’s 8-1 preliminary vote as a committee that would have enacted a ban on the use of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on county-owned and leased properties, including in vehicles on those properties, Tuesday’s vote during the commission’s regular meeting was thought to be a foregone conclusion. However, according to a report on MLive.com, committee chairman Bob Skolnik proposed a delay on the vote for 90 days, which was passed 6-3. An amendment to the ordinance that removes the ban on e-cigarettes was also passed by a vote of 6-3.
The delay was spurred by Skolnik’s desire to have staff study e-cigarettes further, while commissioner Terry Sabo noted the process had become unnecessarily urgent.
Muskegon County is located on the western side of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, and encompasses a population of just over 170,000 people, according to a 2012 estimate from the US Census Bureau.
Had the ordinance passed, it would have gone into effect at Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County sites on January 1, with remaining properties being subject to the ban on July 1, 2014.