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

Protesters turn out Sunday in San Francisco for second day in a row

“To me, it’s everyone’s breaking point,” said Chris Jackson, who handed out water to fellow demonstrators.

Businesses slam proposed COVID-19 worker rehire law as too ‘burdensome’

Supervisor Mar’s legislation would require employers to take back staff at same pay

Curfew to remain in effect Monday night in SF; dozens arrested from Sunday protests

Police chief estimates as many as 6,000 took part in demonstrations

San Francisco mayor calls in 200 law enforcement officers from California to enforce curfew

Mayor London Breed said Sunday morning that she made the request last night as first responders answered calls to dozens of fires and vandalism

Photos: San Francisco businesses clean up the damage: protesters march peacefully

Here are some images from San Francisco on Sunday as businesses began… Continue reading

Most Read