(MANHATTAN, KANSAS - September 25, 2019) The City of Manhattan has drafted an ordinance combining the Smoking and E-Cigarette ordinances for the City Commission to consider on October 8. City staff will hold a public meeting for any interested stakeholders and the public to discuss the draft ordinance on Thursday, September 26, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the City Commission Room of City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Avenue. A copy of the draft ordinance is available for review online at https://cityofmhk.com/DocumentCenter/View/56193/Smoking-Vaping-ORD-Discussion-DRAFT.
In 2008, a petition-referendum process occurred to place an ordinance on the general election ballot that would prohibit smoking in public places and places of employment. The referendum passed by the local electorate, and on January 4, 2009 the ordinance went into effect city-wide. State law allows for the petition-referendum process, and if a referendum passes, it cannot be repealed or amended by the local governing body for 10 years.
Shortly after the local referendum, the State of Kansas passed the Indoor Clean Air Act related to smoking in public places and places of employment in 2010. The state law is similar to Manhattan’s ordinance, but is stricter in certain areas. In 2016, the City Commission passed a separate, but similar ordinance related to the use of e-cigarettes in public places and places of employment.
As of January 4, 2019, the no smoking ordinance is still in effect, but can now be amended or repealed by the governing body. The Flint Hills Wellness Coalition (FHWC) has requested the City Commission combine the two ordinances and clean up some of the ambiguities and differences so it can be enforced consistently. City Staff has prepared a draft ordinance, and will present the ordinance in full detail at the September 26 public meeting, as well as discuss any changes between the two existing ordinances and answer any questions.
On October 8, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. the City Commission will have a Work Session to discuss the draft ordinance. There will be an opportunity for the public at the Work Session to provide comment on the draft ordinance to the City Commission. There will not be a vote on the ordinance at the Work Session. The City Commission will provide feedback on the draft ordinance at that time and give direction to staff on scheduling the ordinance for a vote during a future legislative meeting.
Information about the City of Manhattan and current ordinances is available online at www.cityofmhk.com or by calling the City Manager’s Office at 785-587-2404 during regular business hours.