Commissioner Mark Hosty tried Monday — unsuccessfully — to tie a stricter enforcement of outdoor smoking policies in Forest Park bars and restaurants to a village proposal to maintain consistency in hours for beer gardens and outdoor patios.
When the agenda item was called, Hosty attempted to table the motion, but no commissioner would second the request.
The council began to discuss the issue, and Hosty asked to amend the ordinance to include more enforcement of smoking in outdoor areas. He cited his own health problems as being a result of 18 years of exposure to second-hand smoke.
“I’m on an inhaler and I take medication two times a day,” Hosty told the council. He said that beer gardens were effectively being used as smoking sections of restaurants and bars, complete with ashtrays and that the act passed by the Illinois General Assembly specifically stated smoking couldn’t take place in locations where employees were expected to work or pass through.
Mayor Anthony Calderone said the ordinance on the agenda was meant to make sure that both the liquor code and the code for sidewalk and outdoor cafes had the same hours: from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Calderone noted the Illinois state legislature had already voted to ban smoking, so it was unnecessary to pass a local ordinance.
“Are we going to wait for the Illinois Department of Health and Safety to come to Forest Park and enforce the rules?” Hosty asked.
The council voted 4-1 to pass the ordinance making the hours consistent. Hosty voted nay.
After the meeting Hosty remarked that he wanted the village to help enforce the rules.
“I’m not talking about a guy leaning outside the Shortstop having a cigarette on the sidewalk,” Hosty said. “I don’t want young people growing up in this business to have to work in second-hand smoke and end up with the health problems I have.”