Marshall Co. Commissioners 'Snuff Out' Smoking Ban

It's a debate of rights versus responsibility. On one side, Marshall County residents who want to maintain the right to smoke in privately owned establishments.

“They fight for this country. They fight for all of you to have the freedoms we have. They come home and walk into the American Legion and I don't think that I or anybody should have the right to tell a veteran he can't smoke,” says Julian Keiser, Commander of Post #27.

On the other side, non-smokers who argue that Marshall County Commissioners have a responsibility to protect the public by passing a strict clean air ordinance. “If you want to smoke, smoke, but I ask you to respect my rights as a non-smoker,” Marshall County resident Max Hatfield argues.

“Leave the private business owners make the decision for themselves,” suggests James Koontz, owner of the Journey’s End Bar & Grill.

Marshall County's anti-smoking ordinance is one of the toughest around, with very few places exempt.

Bowling alleys, bars and restaurants would all be included in the ban. “You should put it to a referendum,” says opponent Robert Clark, “so everybody would have a chance to vote.”

When it came time for commissioners to vote Republican John Zentz made a motion to pass the clean air ordinance, but neither of his fellow commissioners would second.

The Marshall County ban went up in smoke.

“If they wanted to start targeting restaurants where no alcohol is served, a family atmosphere, I would take a real hard look at doing something like that,” admits Kevin Overmeyer, President of the Commissioners.

If amendments are made to the clean air ordinance there is chance it could make a second round with the Commissioners.

WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 4849016 -
Gray Television, Inc.