Ordinance May Go Up In Smoke
What a turn around, Liberal City Commissioner Roger Reitz thinks a City
Ordinance banning smoking is
"intrusive and not really fair." Turning in the other direction was Conservative Commissioner Ed Klimek
stating he "might be able to support a proposal requiring clearer external signs - This Is A Smoking
The City held a work session on how to ban smoking in Bars and Restaurants.
It ended with two Ordinances
going up it smoke.
Answers to a questionnaire may have helped put off the enviable. Owners
and managers responded to a
questionnaire by the city staff. Here are the answers:
Martin Hemmingway, Area Supervisor, Pizza Hut
In response to your questionnaire, please note I have checked the Disapprove
box for both ordinances. The
first draft version appears to be nothing more than a temporary tax which expires in four plus years. The
second draft version is unacceptable also as our Franchise Agreement requires remodeling or upgrading
facilities every five years. Having three Pizza Hut locations in one community, it is conceivable to have one or
more locations become no-smoking with one or two years. This would subject us to an un-level playing field
with competitors that do not have the same requirements, not only in the pizza category, but the restaurant
category as a whole. We have tracked sales dollars from smoking customers and they range from 12 to 28%
of total sales, depending on location. Sales loss of this magnitude would force us to close one of our marginal
locations, a reduction in our work force, and curtailment of available dollars to put back into the community in
terms of donations, sponsorships, and the supporting of fundraisers too numerous to mention. I believe
restaurant owners should decide whether their establishment should be smoking or non-smoking and let the
consumer decide where they want to eat. This matter should be left in the hands of the public to choose, not
Kevin Olderbing, Manager, Pizza Hut of Westloop
I am the Manager at Pizza Hut at Westloop in Manhattan. This letter
is in reference to your new no smoking
ordinance at restaurants within the Manhattan City Limits. I feel that not only is it against civil rights but goes
against everyoneís personal right of choice. "Everyone has what it takes to fail. To succeed is a far harder
thing. Making mistakes is how we learn," Degas. Not only will this just take away a personís right of choice,
but it will take away business from my store. I hope you will consider more carefully about what youíre doing
and how it will affect everyone in Manhattan.
Mike Simons, Manager, Third Street Pizza Hut
In reference to the City Smoking Policy for restaurants, it is my belief
that the Third Street Pizza Hut would
lose around 12 to 15 percent of sales by not having a smoking section. Right now our smoking section is
roughly 25 percent of our dining room business. Although that is a small area, we feel the customers should
have the right to smoke and that if it werenít available to them they would choose something different. All of
the Pizza Hut Restaurants in Manhattan have used a tracking formula to determine the number of smokers in
our stores. Our store showed that the number of smokers we had did not compare to the number of
non-smokers, but still it is not worth the risk of losing their business. We feel it would be a hardship to do
business without our smoking customers.
William H. Elliot, Manhattan Country Club
Comments: I am not in favor of control regulations that hinder the retail
business ownersí ability to determine
what his/her clientele wants or doesnít want. The rule of supply and demand should apply. If the business is
suffering from the lack of a smoking policy, then it should be up to the owner to make a policy. On the other
hand, if the ownersí clientele are smokers, government should not force a policy that might hinder the ownerís
ability to make a living. If the customers want a smoke-free environment, they should not frequent a business
that allows smoking. Government should not get involved with this kind of issue unless it is to abolish the
manufacturing and sale of tobacco.
Bob Limbocker, Bockers II Catering
Version 1-Whatever happened to John Q. Public making their own decisions
on where to eat, drink &
socialize. The public influences everything I do. If my competition elects to go non-smoking and are doing well
and I am losing customers - Guess what? - I would become non-smoking. The fact that 3-5 folks set my
policies is ridiculous. Public competition is free enterprise.
Version 2-Places an unfair burden on several establishments particularly
the independent bars and restaurant
owners whose revenues and profits stay in Manhattan, are spent in Manhattan, etc. Corporate chains new or
future can afford to build new restaurants that confirm to your specifics. Existing establishments cannot
because of physical facility space, costs, etc. Eventually the existence of bars and restaurants that operate
today could be forced out of business.
Comments: Many customers occasionally only smoke when having a cocktail
or beer. Many customers can
eat out and refrain from smoking for an hour or so - however, if at a party or dancing over a period of 2-4
hours. If people are not allowed to smoke in Restaurants and Bars - what will they do? Drink & Smoke at
home - resulting in lost revenues to the establishments to the City.
In closing - the questionnaire is most appreciated. We all appreciate
the opportunity to give our input, thanks
Bob Limbocker, Bobby Tís
Version 1-Do these proposed ordinances apply to the American Legion,
VFW, Eagles, Manhattan Country
Club, etc. where they are also license as food service and /or establishments and must comply with the same
health department regulations that other restaurants and bars?
Version 2-Why doesnít the health department proceed with an ordinance
that in effect states that you may be
a 1) Smoke-free Restaurant - 2) A smoking restricted restaurant or 3) A smoking establishment. #2 may be
designated areas or smoking allowed only after 10:00 p.m. etc. All signs could be made by the health
department (3X3 sign hung conspicuously in 2 or 3 locations). Places an absolutely unfair burden on the
restaurants and bars who have received offers to sell their business. For example a contract may exist on my
business to sell February 1, 2001, yet because of a change in ownership only, this places an unfair burden on
the new owner because he must convert to a non-smoking bar - trying to compete against his 2 closest
competitors who allow smoking.
Comments: Why is there a permit for smoking establishments? There are
no costs involved, no enforcement,
no time spent by officers or inspectors. It would seem that a permit cost would apply to non-smoking
establishments where the above costs could be off set by the permit - time spent for checking out violations -
paper work - legal work, etc.
Additional Comments: Why K.S.U. Student Senate - only 20-25% of the
student body is allowed in drinking
establishments. Another thought - the only way that restaurants and bars become smoke free is if OSHA
passes laws that mandate smoke free because it creates a hazardous environment for employees &
customers. If it is proven that an employee is injured or sickened by the atmosphere or environment - then so
be it. Everyone would have to comply.
Version 1-Another permit for another reason. My wall is full of permits
that I am required to get yearly. What is
magic about the year 2005, that the permits will arbitrarily stop then.
Version 2-I am not considered a restaurant until this new ordinance
is approved. I can live with posting "This
is a smoking establishment".
Comments:: The county has a law requiring bars to sell 30% food to be
considered a drinking establishment.
Under the proposed definition of restaurant if we fix popcorn in the microwave and serve it, we just became a
restaurant and are now required to have 50% food sales by existing city law. You failed to mention who is
going to enforce this ordinance if approved. The police - Iím sure they have more pressing issues to deal with.
The health department - do they have enough people to work nights to check all the businesses. A new
department - is there money available to start with or will the taxes go up to pay for it. We are already being
governed by several government agencies. I donít feel the city needs to get involved any more than it already
Tyler Olson, 12th St. Pub & Scoreboard
Version 2-If I do minor renovations I could lose my opportunity to allow
smoking, this is not fair. If the business
were to change ownership, I might support this. However I feel it is the restaurant owners right to allow
smoking in his or her restaurant.
Ervin Havel, Taco Hut
Version 1-Not acceptable
Comments: Keep as is and the way the restaurant has been running for years!
In my opinion all food establishments should be smoke free.
Brian Willis, Citizen
Version 1-The better version of the two. However, why bother with permits,
whatís the intent? What would the
money be used for? Why wait 5 years, when 1 year is more than enough? 5 years will allow 4 years of
procrastination and 1 year to get the job done. Act now - donít kick the can down the road.
Version 2-This is a "no-change" that also kicks the can down the road.
If this is approved weíll just be going
through these motions again in the near future. Manhattan needs to be proactive here.
Comments: Smoking restrictions in eating establishments is an idea whose
time has come. I believe Ames,
IA, is starting work on one now too. We should all be responsible for the health of our community and this is a
place where we can serve notice that we are responsible. Possibly a better alternative to Version 1- would be
a financial incentive to go "smokeless". My experience is that if you make an action suspense a long time
later, people will not act until they must. In the meantime, improved conditions continue to be delayed. If
Version 1- is adopted, the permits should be costly - to encourage conversion.
Auntie Maeís Parlor
Version 1-I personally could live with #1 if I knew how much the license
would cost and if they were available
Version 2-This option would be detrimental to the resale value of my
business. Grandfathering all existing
businesses in is an option but penalizing a business owner for selling his business is not.
Comments: There does not seem to be any differentiating between these
businesses which serve more
alcohol than food. This was an obvious concern at the first meeting and it does not seem to have been
Ron thanks for including the business owners in the process. If you
have any more questions or ideas, I would
be more than happy to discuss them. Iím sure we can resolve this to everyoneís benefit.
Version 1-Thank you for allowing me to purchase another permit. I could
only hope that five years would offer
a long enough time for all this to go away.
Version 2-So, if I would like to spend my money to make, hopefully,
positive changes to the physical structure
of my business: no more smoking. I can only wonder how easy it will be to sell a one room non-smoking
Comments: I feel strongly that you have no right to intrude on private
business when that business is not
engaging in an illegal activity. I have never forced anyone to enter Melís Tavern as either a customer or
employee. I wish government, at any level, would remember that very often the best thing they can do for us is
nothing. Listen to the people as a whole, not just those with special interest in mind.
Mardi Finn, Gin Mill
Version 1-I am opposed to the permit fee in Version 1. We are already
paying the City of Manhattan, $250
per year for our City Drinking Establishment License. I also feel the December 31,2005 expiration date is too
soon for Bars/Taverns. We now have a non-smoking Bar in Aggieville. I would like to give it some time to see
if it can remain in business. We have had other non-smoking Bars/Taverns try to open and they have all gone
out of business. We purchased our business in March of 1995. It has taken 5 1/2 years of dedication and hard
work to build our current customer base. Based on our recent survey, 80-90% of our current customers
smoke. My concern is that if the Smoking Establishments permits expire on December 31, 2005, we will once
again have to rebuild our customer base. This will take additional resources that we no longer have.
Version 2-I feel a Grandfather clause is a better idea. My concern is
that it only includes the current owners,
and not the current business/building. We are hoping to sell our business in the future, so we can retire. I am
very concerned that these non-smoking proposals will make it impossible to ever sell our business. I would
like to see the grandfather clause include the current building/business. The provision should also exclude
minor renovations. The provision could be written for renovations/repairs over a certain dollar value, or
percent of annual sales.
Comments: I feel that the definition for restaurants is too broad. There
is a big difference between
"Restaurants that serve alcohol" and "Bars that serve food". I would like to see a distinction made between
Restaurants and Bars/Tavern. (Restaurant if 50-60% of total sales are from food). I realize all the health
hazards of smoking, and second hand smoke. I am a non-smoker, with allergies and asthma. I am also
concerned about the health of our employees and customers. Over the years we have made substantial
investments to help make our bar a cleaner, less smoky environment. I also realize that it isnít easy to change
personal habits, especially when it comes to smoking. There are still many people who only smoke when they
drink. Some people say they would go to bars more often if they were non-smoking bars. Does that mean
they would go once a month instead of once a year? That would not keep us in business if our regular
smoking customers stayed away. I know that change is coming, but my concern is that we donít try to make
the change too fast. Why not let the demand for non-smoking establishments dictate the supply.
Burger King Comments: Although my company has made the decision to have
"Smoke Free", restaurants, I
do not believe it is in the best interest of any community to have any department or governing body mandate
such restrictions. Please allow the business owners to determine what is "right" for their establishments,
market forces will determine the advantage or disadvantage to each decision. Customers will vote with their
pocket books on their preference.
Version 1-How much will the permit fees be? What will the proceeds be used for?
Version 2-Upgrades, repairs, alterations - too vaguely defined. Creates
unfair competitive advantages and
Comments: Why canít smoking preferences be left up to owners of businesses
as long as designated areas
are properly marked? Consumers would then have a choice, based on preference of smoking or
non-smoking restaurants if that is their primary need. Both ordinances as stated create unfair discrimination
on business owners.
Vista Drive Inn
Comments: Why are these the only 2 options? Why not keep things status
quo or prohibit smoking in ALL
businesses? Why pick only on restaurants?
Mike Weisbander, Ole Mikeís Shooters Supply
Comments: The Government has their nose into private business too far
now. They canít be everybodyís
care-taker. We have enough un-enforced laws now.
Jeff Denney, Auntie Maeís Parlor
Version 1 Like the idea of purchasing permits - how much? Why expire
totally on Dec. 31st, 2005? Could be
another source of revenue for the City. My major concern is that in order to be a Drinking establishment, we
must sell food, but in order to allow smoking, we cannot sell food. 70% of my customers like to have a
cigarette with their beer.
Version 2- I donít plan on being a bar owner forever. This will severely
effect the resale value of my business
when I try to sell it.
Comments: I believe a smoking ordinance can be written that everyone
can live with. However, these two
versions are going to be detrimental to my business. Please keep trying and thank you for including me and
the other bar and restaurant owners and managers in this process.
Mike Carney, Taco Bell
Version 1-I prefer this version because it allows each restaurant the
option of when they want to ban smoking
from their restaurant and gives them five years to make the decision and to prepare its customer base for the
Version 2- Hard to enforce!
Comments: I think the decision of smoking lies with the type of business
each business owner is in. If you are
a bar that serves food, itís one thing. If you are a fast food restaurant, itís another. Each restaurant type has its
own set of needs based on the type of customer it is trying to service. There is no decision that will make
John Wertin, Miniís Diner
Version 1-I think that charging me a permit to allow my customers to
engage in a perfectly legal activity in my
store, in which I pay numerous federal and state taxes already, is a violation of my rights as a business owner.
If customers choose to not come into my establishment because of smoke, that is my problem.
Version 2-Same as above
Comments: I really think that imposing one groups will on another stirs
up all kinds of rights issues. The
bottom line is that no one is forced to come into my establishment. If second-hand smoke is something they
want to avoid, then they absolutely have the right to not come in. It seems to me the City is trying to pander to
non-smokers and make a profit off of it. Donít you think you should encourage small businesses to grow and
prosper, thereby employing more people and stimulating the local economy in a way that is fair and
democratic to everyone, not just certain groups.
David Haux, Food and Beverage Director, Holidome
Version 1-Why phase it in? No fees! Or permits! If we are going to do it, do it and be done.
Comments: The biggest fears involve the advantage/disadvantage for the
larger companies vs. Mom & Pop
stores. Sure, we can afford permits and construction costs, but can the smaller restaurant afford that? Also will
establishments outside the City limits have an unfair competitive advantage? Letís not lose business to a
restaurant/bar right outside the city/county line.
Jennifer and Sherry, Elements of Taste
I do not have money for a permit. I am a small business owner not a franchise.
Richard Van Horn, Wendyís
Should be smoke free totally!
Brad Streeter, Vista
If the goal is for people that are affected by smoke to not go where
there is smoke. Why not provide for all
business (NOT JUST FOOD) a sign that say we are "Smoke Free" or "Smoking is Designated Areas Only".
Do any other types of businesses have to "buy" a permit to smoke? This is an example of Liberalism at its
Kevin Fateley, Kangolf, Wildcat Creek Sports Center
The consumption of food generates methane gas that is released by customers
in the food establishment,
how are we going to control this. I am getting sick from the smell! This canít be good for my physical or mental
James T. McCullough, McCullough Development
In response to your questionnaire regarding smoking regulations, I offer
the following. As a landlord we lease
to numerous food establishments, some smoking, and some non-smoking. The concern I have is for the
independent operator. Franchises are fine, but usually have greater resources and advertising benefits than
the local operator. Donít misunderstand me, I want the same rules for everyone. Californiaís experience has
shown a much greater impact on non-franchised restaurants than the franchises. Independents are very
dependent on "regulars". These people come in three or four times per week, sort of like the "Cheers"
syndrome. Manhattan is fortunate to have per capita more independently owned restaurants than Salina,
Junction City, Topeka or Lawrence. Thereís no real choice for a city of our size. Thereís also competition. For
many of these small businesses, losing 10-12% of their business would be devastating. For the most part,
they keep their money here. I do object to the provisions in Version 2- about building permits, renovation and
change of ownership. Do you really want these businesses to not maintain or improve their property. A good
attorney can get around the change in ownership for many years. I do agree with posting the premises - which
should include advertising as well.
Greg Finn, Gin Mill
Comments: There is a need to differentiate between restaurants and bars!
A permit to allow smoking? Donít
we pay enough in fees already? Why not grandfather the building to allow owners to sell to someone who
wanted a smoking establishment?
Rock a Belly Deli
Version 1-As I understand it, this version does not allow for differences
in existing structures. Are private clubs
Version 2- I may need to improve my existing building, but in order
to create a non-smoking / smoking site, I
would need to construct an entirely new building. Might this effectively deter an owner from making needed
Keith Eyestone, Purple Pig
Comments: I feel that people should have the free choice to have a business
and run it the way they choose.
Half of my customers smoke and if they couldnít smoke they would leave. I donít think you are looking to close
at my business, that is not your right or job.
Bob Sweet, Say Cheese
Version 1-Although I marked my approval of this version, I think that
5 years is too long a time, how about 1 or
2 years? Why a license fee? Is the City creating a revenue source it will not want to lose in 5 years?
Version 2-This version is an incentive for some restaurant owners to
never invest in improvements or
Comments: Show some backbone! Take a stand! Pass an ordinance that bans
all smoking in food service
establishments within 1 or 2 years. Restaurants that have gone smoke-free have all seen an increase in
business. This is not harmful to business, only beneficial to customers health.
John Hubbard, Veterans of Foreign War (VFW)
Comments: If you intend to drive the last fraternal clubs out of business,
this is how to do it. Version 2- would
allow us to continue to operate except for the clause of concerning alterations etc. We all are trying to alleviate
the smoking conditions by installing smoke eaters and air exchangers. But your restrictive ordinance
eliminates most of that.
David Lipe, Patís Blue Ribin Barbeque
Version 1-I donít mind purchasing a permit. But what is the point of
having it expire in 2005. This totally
defeats the whole purpose of having a smoking bar or restaurant. Also the definition is not clear on the
difference between a bar and restaurant.
Version 2-This is not bad, but if I decide to get a permit to build
a deck or patio on the outside of my building it
should not effect whether or not a person can smoke inside. Also if the ownership changes it should not have
to affect the next person to own the business.
Comments: This whole issue is some what stupid to me. Iím not sure,
since the City is so concerned with the
way local business are ran, that the City should buy a restaurant/ bar and run it with their specifications they
are trying to pass on to others. You would realize how difficult it really is!
Longhorns Bar & Grill
Version 1-Depending on the permit fee cost this might not be a bad idea
- except for the Dec. 31, 2005
expiration of all permits - this is totally unacceptable.
Version 2-Posting a "smoking establishment" sign I feel is also acceptable
- but by saying that if any changes
are made to the business such as improvements is ludicrous - over time modifications, improvements, and
repair are necessary to "any" and "all" businesses.
Comments: I feel that a smoking ban or even restrictions in Restaurants
and Bars will severely effect my
business as well as others in Manhattan.
Jim Wright, Carlos OíKellyís
Comments: I am mildly opposed to a smoking ordinance, Version 2- is
preferable. I donít see a problem with
the Current situation - customers have a choice between smoking and non-smoking sections in most
Little Apple Brewing Co.
Version 1-It doesnít surprise me that the City would try to find some
way to "stick it" to restaurant owners with
a new fee for a freedom we currently exercise at no cost. Shame on you for attempting to pad City coffers at
the expense of local business.
Version 2-The freedom we exercise to allow smoking in designated areas
is part and parcel of the assets of
our businesses. Not allowing this freedom to pass through to a new owner could substantially affect the value
of a business that an owner has worked hard to establish.
Comments: Aside from our overzealous Health Dept. and the prohibitionist
smoking forces, I frankly donít see
(or hear) the public outcry for adopting any new regulations in regards to smoking in food service
establishments. As far as Iím concerned this is a fabricated issue of very little public concern. Treat it that way
- drop it!
Julie Haynes, Harryís Downtown
Version 1-I do not have a problem with having to purchase a smoking
license with a reasonable fee if the City
needs revenue. I do have a problem with all permits expiring in 2005. Itís to final, this issue should be looked
at again in 2005. We will all be scrambling to sell our business before then and the values will go down at that
Version 2-Proper signage was discussed at the meetings and all restaurant
operators agreed they would be
willing to display "Smoking", "Non" or "Partial". But losing our smoking privileges by selling our business will
decrease the value of my restaurant drastically, or do you want to penalize us by improving our property?
Comments: Two of my restaurants have outdoor patios - these versions
allow no smoking there either? That
would have been a good compromise for some of us. I thank you for considering our thoughts as business
owners but I cannot agree to either version they are financially devastating to us small business owners.
Please consider giving us more options to decide what our customers want.
Little Apple Brewing Co.
Version 1-It would appear that we get to purchase a permit for something
that is being forced upon the
restaurant business. Cost of permit? Use of permit money? Whatís next beer, pop, gum etc???? Iím
personally not a smoker, however this proposal is nothing but a joke at best.
Version 2-Nearly as big a joke as Version 1-. In fact a toss-up. If
change of ownership or alterations, etc. are
done, then the way is cleared for still "saving the world from wicked smoke". Iím involved in agriculture, and
"peta" is trying to save the world from itself. Get real. Manhattan has a reputation from being hard to work with
and this is just another example.
Comments: As I stated, Iím not a smoker and never have been. However
your two proposals are nothing short
of government bureaucracy, and there is already enough of that in America. Who will be "bouncer" in each
establishment to make sure the rules are carried out? Public establishments are just fine the way they are,
people have a choice, the way it is done in America. Used to be anyway! If this is such a big deal let the state
of Kansas handle it. Whatís next - no smoking at the football stadium??
Bud Cox, Coco Boloís
Comments: My comments will fall on deaf ears anyway, so I wonít waste
your or my time! Your agenda is set
and it doesnít matter what the hard working business people who are paying taxes and providing jobs think.
More laws, more rules, and more regulations. The day we have to pay in order for our customers to smoke will
be a sad day in history! As small business owners, we are taxed to death anyway...why not another slap in the
face! The next thing we know, weíll be told what scent of air freshener to use in our restrooms!
American Legion Post 17
Version 1-Ridiculous! Just another tax!
Version 2-We donít have a problem with signs. We do have a problem with
the second part. All the city would
have to do is fine tune the requirements for a building permit where it would encompass almost anything. Also
the value of your business would drop if and when it sold if it automatically went no smoking.
Comments: As a fraternal organization, our survival depends on bingo
players. A very high percentage of
these players are smokers and we feel a smoking ban would decrease attendance severely. We have
installed air exchange units, at a cost of $15,000 to improve air quality and plan to do more. We are also a
private club so our members could decide whether or not they wanted a smoking ban. THEY DONíT!
Carl Grifffee, Maverick Steer Steak House
Version 1-This is just another tax. If the government wants to outlaw
smoking in government buildings, I have
no problem, but it should be up to the business owner. He makes his living with his decision of whether or not
to allow smoking or a combination of both.
Version 2-I donít have a problem with signage. I feel the government
should stay out of private business - they
donít do a very profitable job running their business.
Comments: I think each owner needs to weigh the decision on how it will
affect their business & their
Version 1-We already pay for enough permits. I donít have a problem
applying for permits. If we get permits,
they should not require a termination date.
Comments: The issue should be left up to the Restaurants, which in turn
passes to the patrons choosing a
smoke free restaurant or a smoking restaurant. We have smoke free Saturdays and Sunday. That is our
decision. We put considerable expense into designing a separate room and ventilation system for the