City of Terrell, Texas


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Mayor Hal Richards

Q. - What can I do as a citizen to start some sort of action to make our restaurants smoke free?? I moved here from Florida 14 years ago and was shocked then that Terrell still allowed smoking in restaurants.


We were in a restaurant the other day and the smoke was so bad we could not even enjoy our meal. There are no walls dividing the smoking section from the non-smoking section.


I think it is time we make a change!!!!! Please let me know what I can do.

Answer - Thanks for your inquiry.


At the time you submitted your question, I was carefully following bills in the Texas Legislature that seemed likely to pass. These bills banned smoking in most public places including restaurants. It made sense to me to see how that developed since State Law generally supersedes local ordinances.


As you may know, the proposed bills eventually failed.


You would be hard pressed to find anyone who dislikes smoking as much as I do. However, I also believe that the owner of a restaurant has the right to allow smoking and patrons of his business can choose to dine there or not.

That being said, I personally enjoy going places where there is no smoking at all and I am not inclined to fight a ban on smoking in restaurants. If you are interested in promoting a ban here are the ways you could proceed:


1. You can contact your City Council Member. If you are not sure who that is call or email the City Secretary, John Rounsavall at 972-551-6600 / If you give him your address he can give you contact information for your Councilman.


2. You can come to a City Council meeting and speak to the Council. We take comments from visitors early in the agenda. Comments should be limited to about 3 minutes. The Council meets at 7:00 PM at City Hall on the 1st and
3rd Tuesday of each month. We rarely deviate from this schedule but you can confirm the meeting with the City Secretary. The Council will hear your request but not discuss it at that meeting. I encourage you to speak to us
any time.


3. The City is governed by the City Charter which serves sort of like our constitution. In the City Charter there is a provision for citizens to propose an ordinance. The details of this are below and copied from the City Charter found on the website. This is a fairly complicated process and probably not the best way to get started. I suggest you try option 1 or 2 first.


Article VIII: Initiative Referendum and Recall

Section 8.01. Power of Initiative.

The voters shall have power to propose any ordinance except an ordinance appropriating money or authorizing the levy of taxes, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls, such power being known as the initiative. Any initiative ordinance may be submitted to the council by a petition signed by qualified voters of the city equal in number to at least ten percent (10%) of the number of votes cast at the last regular municipal election, but not less than (250) qualified voters.


Thank you very much for your interest and please accept my apology for such a long delay in responding. If you have any follow up questions for me, please feel free to contact me.




Hal Richards, Mayor




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City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
Metro 972-524-3332
Fax 972-551-6682



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