Meeting of the week

Take a guess. C’mon! Yes, the proposed expansion of the smoking ban comes before Council this week, and chats with several of the dais’s current residents suggest that it’ll pass with a few modifications: smoking will likely be allowed on River Walk patios and in areas of City parks that aren’t designed for gatherings, and businesses that currently allow smoking may get up to a year (read: a new Council) to adjust `see the QueQue, August 4 and 11`. Some of the ban’s opponents were angling for a delay as long as three years before the full ban is implemented, but the Mayor is reportedly not open to that compromise, and neither is District 7 Councilman Justin Rodriguez, who wrote the initial Council Consideration Request memo. All of the ban’s proposed indoor areas are expected to remain in place (current exceptions: retail cigar outlets that let you snip and smoke, and private clubs such as VFW halls — although VFW halls open to the public will not be exempted).

“Although we continue to listen and make some compromises, I don’t think any of us who support it want to fall short of the `national smoke-free` standard,” Rodriguez said. He’d like to see a nice comfortable majority get behind the ordinance, but “if it takes six, that’s fine.” The Council meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday at 114 W. Commerce. Get the agenda at •