CITY HALL -- Glendale officials will talk Tuesday on whether a state
law banning lighting up cigarettes in businesses, restaurants and bars
should be enforced by allowing citations to be issued.
Since 1995, Glendale has deferred to the L.A. County Department of
Health Services to handle complaints and send out warning letters to
businesses that violate the law.
The county stopped its enforcement in February, leaving the city to
sporadically handle the issue, according to Sam Engel, the city's
administrator for the Neighborhood Services Department. Complaints have
been handled by issuing letters and following up with visits.
Engel has outlined a policy that he said would be even more effective
in dealing with the problem of illegal smoking.
Glendale would be sending out warning notices, but police officers and
code enforcement officers would also be giving authority by the council
to issue citations.
The penalty would be $100 for the first violation, $200 for a second
violation and $500 for the third violation in a year.
Several businesses in Glendale could be issued citations because they
have already received warning letters, Engel said. Glendale receives
about 20 complaints a year or one to two a month.
The law banning smoking in offices and restaurants went into effect in
1995. It covered bars in January 1998 and required cities like Glendale
to be responsible for enforcing it.
Code enforcement officers would handle complaints between 7 a.m. and
5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and complaints before and after those hours
would be handled by patrol officers.
Councilman Ginger Bremberg said she doesn't want to give code
enforcement officers any more duties when they should be cracking down on
illegal parkway signs and people failing to remove garbage containers on
the street. She said Glendale deserves money from the state for an
"Code enforcement doesn't need any more responsibility. They can't
take care of what needs to be done now," Bremberg said.
No city money has been budgeted for the extra duties that is not
expected to exceed 100 hours of staff time, Engel said.
Other cities such as Long Beach, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Santa
Monica and Pasadena have been handling their own enforcement and some
issue citations immediately, said Cynthia Harding, director of the county
health department's Tobacco Control Program.
IN OTHER ACTION
The Glendale City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council
chambers of City Hall. The council will hold a budget study session at 10
a.m. The Glendale Housing Authority will meet at 2:30 p.m. and the
Glendale Redevelopment Agency at 3:30 p.m. The meetings will be televised
on Charter Communications Channel 6. In other action, the council will
* As the Housing Authority, hear an update of the home ownership
* As the Redevelopment Agency, hear an update on assistance for auto
* Proclaiming April "Earthquake Preparedness Month."
* Proclaiming April 24 "The Day of Remembrance of the 85th Anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide."
* Hearing a presentation from Airport Commissioner Gerald Briggs.
* Seeing a video from Glendale Unified School District student interns
on trying to stop pollution deposited in the ocean.