Torres-Walker’s absence from council meeting leaves Antioch tobacco product sales ordinance ban in place

Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker were absent from the May 9, 2023 council meeting during the Consent Calender portion. Thorpe arrived an hour late. Video screenshot.

After Ogorchock switched positions in March; Thorpe hour late to meeting without explanation

By Allen D. Payton

With the final vote to revise the Antioch tobacco products sales ban ordinance on the Consent Calendar during Tuesday night’s meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker was absent and Mayor Lamar Thorpe was an hour late to the meeting. That left the vote up to the other three council members, including District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson who opposed the changes. During the March 28th meeting District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock reversed her previous support for the entire ban, joining Torres-Walker and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica. The motion to adopt the revised ordinance failed on a 2-1 vote with Wilson voting against.

According to the staff report on the agenda item, Section C. of the current ordinance reads, “No tobacco retailer shall sell, offer for sale, possess with the intent to sell, offer in exchange for any form of consideration, or provide at no cost any of the following: (1) Any package of fewer than twenty little cigars; (2) Any package of fewer than six cigars; and (3) Any package of cigarettes, little cigars, or cigars at a price that is less than ten dollars per package, including applicable fees and taxes.”

Retailers had complained to the city council that they were unfairly targeted and there wasn’t a level playing field with retailers in neighboring cities. As a result, that section was removed in the revised ordinance which the council passed 3-2.

But the failure of the second reading of the ordinance leaves that section in place and any revisions to the ordinance requires the council to start the process again.

A separate effort to remove the ban on the sale or transfer to family members of tobacco retailers in the city was sent back to the Planning Commission for review and a recommendation vote. That will return to the city council for a decision at a future meeting.

the attachments to this post:

Antioch City Council mtg Consent Cal 05-09-23

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