WALKER -- Larry "Bud" Ramsey approached the Cass County Board Tuesday to request implementation of a smoke-free ordinance for all workplaces, restaurants and bars in the county.
He said he had first approached the Walker City Council, but was told the council preferred to see any such ordinance considered countywide rather than by individual cities.
Cass Administrator Robert Yochum told Ramsey the county on most issues has no jurisdiction within municipalities. The county would have to determine whether the county could have jurisdiction in municipalities on a smoking ordinance under state law.
Beltrami County recently passed a countywide smoking ban ordinance for that county. Copies of that and an Olmsted County ordinance were provided to Cass commissioners Tuesday.
Yochum noted smoking is an issue developing in all counties in Minnesota. For this reason the Association of Minnesota Counties General Government Policy Committee is working toward developing a statewide position on the issue, Yochum said.
Board Chair Jim Dowson said he expects the Legislature to address the issue in the 2005 session.
Yochum also noted any action Cass County might take should be done in conjunction with Leech Lake Reservation because of overlapping jurisdictions. The state and county under federal law cannot regulate civil and regulatory issues on a reservation, he said.
The board referred Ramsey's suggestion to the County Health Advisory Committee.
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