COLUMBIA – The Daniel Boone Regional Library Board on Thursday voted 10-3 in favor of banning smoking on Columbia Public Library grounds.
Columbia Public Library Board trustee Rosie Gerding initiated the ban, which she said she thought would be good for everyone.
"I would just like to see us be a leader and out front with this," Gerding said of the ban. "There were enough customer complaints about this issue that it was time to move forward on it."
Gerding originally filed a motion to ban smoking on all Daniel Boone Regional Library grounds, which would include facilities in Ashland and Fulton. Further discussion raised the issue of the indoor smoking ban on Fulton's November ballot and whether the board should make a decision about smoking on behalf of Fulton.
While Fulton was represented by four* board members at the meeting, the board agreed smoking was a "hot topic" in Fulton.
"If we pass this now, it's for all the properties," Mike Luebbert* of the Callaway Library Board said of the original proposal during the discussion. He noted that smoking is still legal in coffee shops and bars in Fulton.
Callaway Board member Tonya Hays-Martin also objected to a smoking ban in Fulton.
"We haven't had the problem," she said.
After Gerding's* original motion failed 5-9, Columbia Board member David Webber filed a motion to ban smoking on all Columbia Public Library property, leaving Ashland and Fulton smoking bans to be decided at a later date.
This motion passed *11-3.
Columbia Board member Susan Breyfogle said she didn't vote for the overall ban because "it's a very hot topic in Fulton right now, and we're letting them decide what they want to do."
Although she doesn't know when the ban will come up for debate in other libraries, Breyfogle said she believes "eventually the whole country will be smoke-free."