On Friday's edition of Lubbock's First News on KFYO, newly appointed Lubbock Mayor Pro Tem Jim Gerlt talked about Lubbock's smoking ordinance, LP&L, and The Omni Building.

Currently, Lubbock allows smoking in bars and bingo halls, but not public restaurants. While some consider regulation on smoking an attack on capitalism, Gerlt disagrees. He stated that when the regulations set in for restaurants, it helped their sales by opening more seats to non-smokers, who are the majority. "I think they lost a lot of business because they couldn't use the whole restaurant and when the ban was passed, all of a sudden the whole restaurant is available to be seated," Gerlt said.

Talking about LP&L, Gerlt discussed the top four highest paid jobs in the company. These are the CEO, Assistant Director, Chief Financial Officer, and Attorney. When asked whether he thought it was very likely that these four positions would be dissolved, Gerlt said "I don't think that is a realistic option."

Gerlt  pointed out, going off of kilowatt/hours per year, we paid about $64 less for electricity than those in Amarillo.

Moving on to the Omni Building, Gerlt stated that the contract between Lubbock and the organization owning the building is for about 1.235 million dollars while it is considered to be worth 4 million by the appraisal district. "It has just been a nightmare. We have been so frustrated," Gerlt said when talking about dealing with the owner of the Omni Building. "This is the biggest obstacle we've got on developing downtown."

Gerlt speculated that if Lubbock does purchase the building and it is structurally sound, it would be used for a police station.

To listen to the full interview, click the play button below:

To listen from a mobile device, click the following link: KFYO LFN Jim Gerlt July 11 2014