Newly elected Mayor Dennis Kintigh and city councilors will meet for a regular City Council meeting tonight to discuss issuing a club liquor license to the American Legion and a ban on electronic cigarettes.
Council will discuss taking a first step to amend the city’s Clean Air Ordinance to include banning electronic smoking devices in public places.
Councilors are expected to decide whether to publish the ordinance in the newspaper so a public hearing can be held in April.
The Building and Lands Committee approved the ordinance amendment in February, allowing it to be considered by council.
Councilor Steve Henderson proposed the idea, saying he felt e-cigarettes contained a vapor with nicotine.
The battery-powered devices vaporize a nicotine-filled liquid that can be flavored. They are often used as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Henderson said allowing e-cigarettes in public places, where cigarettes are banned per city ordinance, was objectionable.
“A number of communities have already taken action on this deal,” Henderson told the committee in February. “It’s a big problem and I think we owe our citizens the same right under the tobacco ordinance.”
Henderson has worked on the issue with City Attorney Barbara Patterson since November, he said.
The city’s proposed amendment to the Clean Air Ordinance would change the definition of “smoking” to include electronic smoking devices.
According to the council staff report: “Recent studies show that electronic smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes, emit nicotine in their expelled vapor. To continue keeping Roswell a clean-air city, the need to ban the use of electronic smoking devices in public places is necessary.”
The public hearing would be scheduled for April 10.
In other expected action, councilors are scheduled to hear an application from the American Legion Post 28, on North Montana, for a new club liquor license.
The organization’s club is located in a community commercial district and has been granted preliminary approval by the state Alcohol and Gaming Division.
Kintigh is also expected to elect a new mayor pro-tem at the meeting. Former mayor pro-tem, Councilor Barry Foster, was defeated in the recent election by new Councilor Tabitha Denny.
Councilors will also be given new committee assignments, Kintigh said.
“It’s one of the big responsibilities of the mayor,” Kintigh said.
Kintigh said he’s looking forward to his first City Council meeting.
“I’ve been involved in legislative hearings. I’ve been in legislature before,” Kintigh said. “I’m comfortable with it. I will be happy to serve. It’s just part of the overall job. It’s the public part. I’ve got to focus on all of the responsibilities of mayor.”
Other actions tonight will include considerations of lodger’s tax funding requests for the 30th Annual Milkman Triathlon, New Mexico Senior Olympics, Hike It! & Spike It!, Jesse Andrus & Mike Hillman Memorial Bull Riding Event and the Pecos Valley Quilt Show.