DeVito, who also serves as a city councilman, is representing a small group of concerned citizens who would like to see the smoking ban. He says he’s voicing his concerns as a resident and not as an elected official.
The businessman admits there could be an agenda at hand, but he’s not hiding it. He hopes a smoking ban in parks becomes a stepping stone for an all-out indoor ban.
Currently, several adult-only drinking establishments around town allow smoking.
Henri’s Martinis and Grill says 75% of its customers smoke. While an indoor smoking ban is not being discussed now, employees say such talks are inevitable.
“We know that with the way that the county is going, eventually they are going to come in and say you are going to have to go non-smoking,” said Lynn Whitely, a server at Henri’s.
Residents will have their chance to sound off about that smoking ban for parks at a meeting Monday, March 21st. The public forum will take place at the board’s regular monthly meeting, which begins at 6:00 pm at the Eureka Springs City Hall.
“It is an issue I feel strongly about so hopefully there will be others in the community besides myself,” said DeVito.
It should be noted that while DeVito hopes a park smoking ban eventually leads to an all-out indoor smoking ban, the indoor ban is not a part of his current proposal.
Bill Featherstone, a commissioner on the city’s parks and recreation board, said he and fellow members have not taken a stance regarding a ban. The March 21st meeting will simply be a chance for residents to voice opinions about the issue.
Featherstone said smoking in city parks has never been an issue or major source of complaints.