I need to apologize for my post of yesterday. I was hasty in ascribing motives to what was likely a mistake. I forgot an old adage, "Never assume a conspiracy when mere stupidity will suffice as a cause".
By this afternoon cooler heads prevailed. The proposal one now finds on the City website is the correct, original petition. City issued a press release and the valid language will be published the next two Sundays. At least next time Council meets, we will all be on the same page(es). Well, it is rather long.
In retrospect, I can think of a number of ways this substitution came about accidentally. Likely as any: I've been in a political campaign or three and it is not uncommon to have two, three "draft proposals" floating about. It's entirely possible someone inadvertantly e-mailed the wrong draft to City, one that had been considered, but rejected by the initiating committee.
Between length, time pressure and tiny type, no one catches it until the comments last Tuesday start to digress from the original language I was familiar with. When I look, sure as God made little green apples, the language published as a legal notice April 18 was at substantial variance from that originally submitted. As I say, likely came about by innocent mistake, I have been called a nitpicker by more than one person, BUT...
At least we caught this while it was correctible error. Let's suppose no one caught it, the initiative moves on and passes in November. The first person given a citation under the new ordinance has a sharp-eyed lawyer who catches this technical, but legally valid violation of Election Code. Not only does the accused walk out of the ticket, the whole ordinance gets tossed and all this effort has been for naught.
Far more important legislation has been tossed for far smaller "nits". As it was, City staff members, to their credit, reacted quickly and effectively and I'm sure great attention will be paid to the details as this moves on.
Make no mistake: I oppose this measure, I sincerely hope to either amend with exemptions or defeat it if it goes to vote as written. I withdraw my comments as to motivation on the part of Smoke Free, but I withdraw none of my objections that it is an assault on property rights. Let us move on to honest debate and a clean process.