Here is your Morning Brief for October 24, 2014.

Cole Shooter,
Cole Shooter,

Last night the Lubbock City Council was supposed to vote on the smoking/tobacco ban that had been proposed by local attorney Matthew Harris and his West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition. The Lubbock City Council was supposed to hear from citizens who supported and were against the ordinance. Instead of showing guts, the cowards showed themselves.

Around 2pm yesterday, Councilman Jim Gerlt announced on Facebook that he would vote against the current version of the ordinance. That meant that four members of the City Council had publicly announced that they would vote against the ordinance. That vote would not happen though.

After the West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition got wind that they didn't have the votes, they panicked at wanted the item pulled from the agenda. According to Mayor Glen Robertson, an email went out before the council meeting telling supporters of the liberal group that the ban would be pulled and not to show up. When I arrived at City Hall yesterday at 4:50pm, Matthew Harris was there and was consulting with Councilman Floyd Price. After their conversation ended, Harris the leader of the group left and took his speakers with him.

Instead of fighting and trying to convince the council to vote his way, Matthew Harris knew he would lose and decided to run away. He did return to City Hall a few hours later after citizen comments.

City Hall was packed Thursday, it appeared to me with citizens who were against the ban and who were prepared to stand up for what they believe in. While many got their chance to speak, others left.

Mayor Glen Robertson announced early in the council meeting that certain members of the council wanted the ordinance pulled from the agenda. He was visibly upset and rightfully so. Councilman Floyd Price and Councilwoman made the motions to pull the agenda item and the motion passed with Price, Joy, Hernandez, and Jim Gerlt supporting. Jim Gerlt, who just hours earlier told citizens he would vote against, instead voted to give the ordinance new life.

As KFYO News points out, Latrelle Joy said one council member needed more time.

Council Woman Latrelle Joy cited one council member’s unpreparedness and inability to make an informed decision as reasoning to postpone the amendment reading.

However, in a tweet later that evening, the West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition said they had requested the item be pulled. Sounds like to me they should get their stories straight.

The Lubbock City Council did a disservice to the citizens of Lubbock last night. Shame on them. There should have been a vote. Instead the liberal West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition will now go back and re-work the ordinance in hopes that Councilman Jim Gerlt will go along with them. I hope he will stick to his no-vote stance, but I'm not holding my breath.

The only thing we learned last night was who the cowards are. Matthew Harris, the West Texas Smoke-Free Coalition, and the 4 members who voted to pull the ban from the agenda. Cowards.

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