Opponents want smoking ban removed from ballot in St. Charles Co - KMOV.com

Opponents want smoking ban removed from ballot in St. Charles County

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) - Opponents of a smoking ban in St. Charles County are suing to get the issue removed from the November ballot.

Their supporters are claiming the St. Charles County Council did not follow the rules when it decided to put the ban up for a public vote. County officials earlier ruled another proposed ban that included a lot of exemptions invalid.  The group behind that proposal received $100,000 from Ameristar Casino.

Opponents of the proposal slated for the November ballot are calling the language "unfair and misleading." A St. Peters bowling alley owner and a former St. Charles County Treasurer filed the lawsuit last week. Former Missouri State Representative Carl Beardon is also supporting the effort. Beardon is currently in charge of the Committee for Economic Liberty, which is backed by Ameristar.

"We're not arguing whether it was good idea  to have a smoking ban or not," Beardon said. "We're arguing there is a process that the people of St. Charles put into effect in 1992 when they adopted the charter. The county council has failed to abide by that process."

The ballot issue has two parts. Voters would first have to vote on whether they support a broad county wide ban and then vote separately on a proposal that would include some exemptions for bars and the casino floor.

The attorney for St. Charles County declined to comment on the suit.

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