SHEFFIELD — A bid to replace the city's existing smoke free ordinance failed to receive the necessary votes needed for approval during Monday's City Council meeting.
Mayor Ian Sanford offered a replacement to the existing ordinance that was approved in October, but a 3-3 vote means the existing ordinance remains in effect. A 4-2 vote would be required to replace the existing ordinance.
The council did vote unanimously to consider the ordinance during Monday's City Council meeting.
Sanford and Councilman Steve Nix voted against the ordinance in October while council members Ronnie Wicks, Steve Stanley, Penny Freeman and MaLea Scales voted for it.
Scales, however, voted in favor of the replacement ordinance, along with the mayor and Nix. Stanley, Wicks and Freeman voted against changing the existing ordinance.
Scales said she separated her own opinions from those of business owners who have said they feel the ordinance amounts to government overreach. Scales said she read the new ordinance and tried to look at is from the business owner's point of view.
While she still believes second-hand smoke causes health problems, Scales said she believes the individual should make the choice to be around smoking or not.
The replacement ordinance would give business owners the choice of allowing smoking or not allowing smoking. It would also give businesses the option of having a clearly marked smoking section and businesses must alert the public that they allow or prohibit smoking in their business.
It would retain the portion about smoking in a vehicle with minor children and prohibit smoking in parks and public buildings.
Freeman said she needed to review the new ordinance.
"This one needs some looking at," she said. "It needs a few changes."
Residents attending the meeting thanked the council for taking another look at the ordinance.
"I hope you can come to some sort of agreement," Victoria Layfield said.
Sanford said the ordinance would come before the council again.
"I plan to have it on the agenda every month until the end of my term," the mayor said.
Sanford's term ends in 2020 and he does not plan to run for re-election.
Some business owners in the city, mostly restaurant owners who allowed smoking, have told the council their businesses are suffering because of the ordinance.
Prior to the meeting, Councilman Steve Stanley said he's concerned the current ordinance is not being enforced.