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Council to discuss smoking tickets

April 15, 2000

Buck Wargo

CITY HALL -- Glendale officials will talk Tuesday on whether a state

law banning lighting up cigarettes in businesses, restaurants and bars

should be enforced by allowing citations to be issued.

Since 1995, Glendale has deferred to the L.A. County Department of

Health Services to handle complaints and send out warning letters to

businesses that violate the law.

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The county stopped its enforcement in February, leaving the city to

sporadically handle the issue, according to Sam Engel, the city's

administrator for the Neighborhood Services Department. Complaints have

been handled by issuing letters and following up with visits.

Engel has outlined a policy that he said would be even more effective

in dealing with the problem of illegal smoking.

Glendale would be sending out warning notices, but police officers and

code enforcement officers would also be giving authority by the council

to issue citations.

The penalty would be $100 for the first violation, $200 for a second

violation and $500 for the third violation in a year.

Several businesses in Glendale could be issued citations because they

have already received warning letters, Engel said. Glendale receives

about 20 complaints a year or one to two a month.

The law banning smoking in offices and restaurants went into effect in

1995. It covered bars in January 1998 and required cities like Glendale

to be responsible for enforcing it.

Code enforcement officers would handle complaints between 7 a.m. and

5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and complaints before and after those hours

would be handled by patrol officers.

Councilman Ginger Bremberg said she doesn't want to give code

enforcement officers any more duties when they should be cracking down on

illegal parkway signs and people failing to remove garbage containers on

the street. She said Glendale deserves money from the state for an

unfunded mandate.

"Code enforcement doesn't need any more responsibility. They can't

take care of what needs to be done now," Bremberg said.

No city money has been budgeted for the extra duties that is not

expected to exceed 100 hours of staff time, Engel said.

Other cities such as Long Beach, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Santa

Monica and Pasadena have been handling their own enforcement and some

issue citations immediately, said Cynthia Harding, director of the county

health department's Tobacco Control Program.

IN OTHER ACTION

The Glendale City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council

chambers of City Hall. The council will hold a budget study session at 10

a.m. The Glendale Housing Authority will meet at 2:30 p.m. and the

Glendale Redevelopment Agency at 3:30 p.m. The meetings will be televised

on Charter Communications Channel 6. In other action, the council will

consider:

* As the Housing Authority, hear an update of the home ownership

committee recommendations.

* As the Redevelopment Agency, hear an update on assistance for auto

dealers.

* Proclaiming April "Earthquake Preparedness Month."

* Proclaiming April 24 "The Day of Remembrance of the 85th Anniversary

of the Armenian Genocide."

* Hearing a presentation from Airport Commissioner Gerald Briggs.

* Seeing a video from Glendale Unified School District student interns

on trying to stop pollution deposited in the ocean.

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