New Iberia City Council Votes on Smoking Ordinance for All Businesses
New Iberia, La. (KLFY) There is a big debate smoldering in the city of New Iberia. To ban smoking inside businesses or not? The New Iberia City Council is split for the first time in five years.
The New Iberia City Council spent 30 minutes discussing a smoking indoors ordinance in the city at their last meeting. The basis for the ordinance is based on "public health". But not everyone is on board.
David Broussard, District 3 New Iberia Councilman is not for the ordinance.
I don't want to be a total dictator up here and tell people what they have to do and can't do. -David Broussard, District 3 New Iberia Councilman
The council went back and forth, weighing out the pros and cons of the ordinance but could not come up with a definitive decision whether to ban indoor smoking in New Iberia businesses or not.
New Iberia Mayor Freddie DeCourt says the four-three split is the first time in five years he's seen the council split like this. DeCourt added, "This is fun".
One side of the City Council wants the ordinance for health and safety and the other side of the council is for the rights of the business owners and citizens of New Iberia.
Sometimes we have to make the tough decisions and that's a tough decision, but it's for the betterment of the community and that's what lawmakers do. -Deedy Johnson-Reed, New Iberia Councilwoman of District 5
Another councilwoman brought up the fact that Lafayette, Abbeville, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport have all banned smoking in businesses and it hasn't hurt revenue at all in those cities.
People who are going to go there will go anyway. -New Iberia Councilwoman Deidre Ledbetter
Dustin Suire, New Iberia Councilman Dustin Suire could not disagree more. Suire is not for telling businesses what they should or shouldn't do.
I don't believe in government telling a private business what they should do. I get it. Smoking is bad for you but we make the choice to go into it. Dustin Suire, New Iberia Councilman
The meeting ended with a four-three split on the ordinance. "It needs a lot of work", said Mayor Pro Tem Ricky Gonsoulin.