Could a smoking ban in Augusta come down to a vote by Mayor Deke Copenhaver?
Augusta city leaders are again considering an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places including bars.
A similar measured failed last year, getting only three votes in favor of it. However, there are four new members on the Augusta Commission.
A 5-5 tie would allow Copenhaver to cast the deciding vote, and he tells WJBF News Channel 6 he's in favor of the new smoking ordinance. "I believe it's something we should do here. When you consider we're a destination for health care, I think it sends the right message to our public, so I am in favor of it," says Copenhaver.
"You would vote to break a 5-5 tie in favor of the ban on smoking?" we asked the Mayor. "We'll just see when it gets there, but I'm in favor of it," he says.
The question remains...will Copenhaver get a chance to break a 5-5 tie? Of the four Commisisoners who left the panel, two were for the smoking ordinance, one voted against it, and one abstained.
Two of the new Commissioners, Marion Williams and Mary Davis, say at this point they cannot support the smoking ordinance. Commissioner Donnie Smith says he's in favor. Biil Fennoy also indicated at Monday's meeting that he could support the measure.
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