Fight smolders over new law

Belmont’s mayor describes her colleagues as “pioneers” for narrowly approving the city’s smoking ordinance Tuesday night, but time will tell whether they’ve discovered bold new ways to protect public health — or opened a Pandora’s box of possible litigation and rights violations.

“I’m glad it passed, I hopeit stays, and I hope we can work everything out when we review it in a year,” Mayor Coralin Feierbach said.

Feierbach, Dave Warden and Phil Mathewson voted for the ordinance, beating the two votes of Vice Mayor Warren Lieberman and Bill Dickenson. The ordinance goes into effect 30 days from Tuesday’s meeting.

But with Warden and Mathewson leaving the council at the end of this year, and outcry from the business and real estate community about the ordinance’s provisions, the review Feierbach is calling for could be drastic.

“Like everyone else, I’ll just wait and see what happens,” Lieberman said.

Dickenson and Lieberman both said they are not going to rush into reviewing the ordinance in an effort to overturn it, because there are bigger priorities for the city.

“I disagree with it, I voted against it, I think it’s intrusive, but the first priority with the new council is to look at what our priorities and resources are,” Dickenson said. “I would like to see it reviewed, but I don’t want to continue the chaos.”

That chaos could become an election issue this year as well. Loring De Martini — owner of Van’s Restaurant — said he is backing Jason Born and Broderick Page in the coming election in an effort to fight back against the ordinance that he says will drive business from the city.

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Asian American youth report anger, sadness and fear over surge in racist behavior

Survey finds about 80 percent experienced bullying or verbal harassment

Court prevents Trump administration from blocking WeChat pending hearing

Late Saturday night, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary… Continue reading

San Francisco Symphony, Opera musicians settle contracts

Performers’ salaries modified due to inability to play live

California’s troubled unemployment agency needs immediate overhaul, report says

By Patrick McGreevy Los Angeles Times California’s antiquated unemployment benefits system requires… Continue reading

In Brown Type: New survey finds engagement and trend to progressivism among Asian American voters

The 2016 election and ‘Trump effect’ have fired up the voting bloc

Most Read