RATES RATES  

Socialize

Artesia Tony Mayor Lima Slams Proposed Smoking Ban at Condos, Apartments

Artesia Mayor Tony Lima seen during a controversial trip he took to China and Japan in 2012 to ride a variety of high speed trains.  Photo Via Facebook

Artesia Mayor Tony Lima seen during a controversial trip he took to China and Japan in 2012 to ride a variety of high speed trains. Photo Via Facebook

By Rico Dizon

Over the objections of his four fellow members in the City Council, Artesia Mayor Tony Lima expressed his strong and firm opposition to the proposed smoking ban on multi unit residences in the city during the last City Council meeting on July 14.

Lima owns several multi unit apartment building in the area.

“It will complicate operations by owners of apartments and condominiums. Some people just do smoke. If a law will prohibit them in this city they will transfer to Long Beach or any other cities,” Lima said.

“Half of people in the Portuguese Hall for instance do smoke. Putting control on other’s property is not good. This will just open a can of worms, more legal litigations between property owners and tenants, neighbors against neighbors,” Lima said.

“It is interesting that this body consider it worthwhile to use much time and effort discussing a project that will not bring good results to the community. If you want to be creative, think of ordinances that will bring in millions of dollars for the residents and the city. I am against this proposal and I am voting no,” lamented Mayor Lima.

Mayor Pro Tem Miguel Canales said, “It is not about hurting the landlords but it is empowering the residents. As individuals, they should have empowerment to protect their health and their environment. For them I think health will supersede money.”

Popular Artesia City Councilmember Sally Flowers supported the new smoking restrictions in Artesia apartments and condos.

Popular Artesia City Councilmember Sally Flowers supported the new smoking restrictions in Artesia apartments and condos.

Canales who is a popular teacher at Gahr High School in the ABC Unified School District, continued to stress, “I consider it my obligation to protect the significant rights and choices of the residents. With 38 million people, the State did stop smoking in public places. California did a good job and cities should do their own. I am for newly-opened multi unit dwellings to practice 100% smoke free.”

Council Member Sally Flowers was once in the position of a mother with young children looking for an apartment. “Certainly, I would like to know if smoking is allowed in the premises even before I signed a one year lease. Landlords should notify future tenants if they allow or prohibit smoking in their multi-family apartments.”

Council Member Victor Manalo agreed with Canales and spoke in opposition to Lima. “It is really a public health issue and the city should have the ability to control smoking in multi-unit residences just like our sister cities. If newly developed units could be 100% or 80% smoke free, I will be happy. We are used to no smoking and we should go as far as we can on this issue. Let us create an Ad Hoc committee to work on the details and make recommendations.”

The Artesia City Council appointed Canales and Flowers to the committee.

City Manager William Rawlings reported, “Several meetings in the past, an advocacy group requested a city ordinance to ban smoking in multi-unit dwellings. It was on May 12 this year when the City Council first discussed the request which resulted in coming up with a comparison of policy considerations from three cities as models for the proposal (Calabasas, Santa Monica and Temecula).“At the same time, the Staff prepared a survey sheet among the city council members on choosing policy directions.”

Rawlings added, “This meeting was held to gather input and I think we had quite a few of them tonight. We shall discuss the proposal further and I can see three or more meetings, as this is a complicated issue with unforeseen impacts. It will require more manpower and additional costs.”