Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wildwood Councilman Resigns from Office; Wanted Tougher Smoking Ban

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 9:35 AM

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  • Bruce Colella
One gets the feeling that Wildwood City Council meetings might actually be worth checking out.

Last spring a former councilman in the west county suburb made headlines when he presented an outgoing official a necktie emblazoned with the man's photo and the words, "I Am Sofa King We Todd Did."

Then last week councilman Bruce Colella publicly announced his resignation during a factious debate when Mayor Tim Woerther said he would veto tough public-smoking ban endorsed by Colella.

To be sure, the smoking-ban debate in St. Louis and municipalities such as Wildwood has been heated this year, but this is the first we've heard of a public official resigning over the matter.

But did Colella really resign? Yes and no.

As the Post-Dispatch reports this morning, after the September 28 city council meeting last week, Colella emailed the mayor asking to rescind his resignation.

When the mayor did not reply to his email, Colella later went through with the resignation -- penning his announcement to the mayor on October 1. This time the mayor answered back, writing Colella that he wished him luck in his future endeavors.

Colella -- a part-time Methodist pastor -- told the daily yesterday that he stands by his position on smoking bans and hopes Wildwood enforces a tougher ban than the one up for county-wide vote on November 3. That ban would still allow smoking in casinos and "drinking bars" that earn more than 75 percent of their revenue through liquor sales.

"It's disingenuous to say smoking is harmful in restaurants but not in bars," concludes Colella.

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