Evansville City Council Drug Testing

A few days ago the Evansville City Council has voted down the policy to be drug tested, while serving in office. With a 7-2 vote against the drug testing policy, it was stated that it was simply ‘lousy’. Interesting opinion on a policy, that most anyone who has a job must submit themselves to, at least randomly. Missy Mosby and Jonathan Weaver were both sponsors of this resolution, that fell short.

drug test photo
Photo by Jack Spades

A few days ago the Evansville City Council voted down the resolution to be drug tested, while serving in office.  With a 7-2 vote against the drug testing policy, it was stated that it was simply 'lousy'.  Interesting opinion on a policy, that most anyone who has a job must submit themselves to, at least randomly.  Missy Mosby and Jonathan Weaver were both sponsors of this resolution, that fell short.

So, I have a few questions, in regards to this resolution vote.  Why are we leaving the decision to be drug tested up to the people whom would be tested?  What is the exact reason for not submitting to this requirement, besides a 'lousy' opinion?

Laws providing for government employee drug testing.

There are two court cases that allow the drug testing of any city employees.  Skinner/Van Raab allows for drug testing of city workers, based on need over privacy.  Therefore, if they are in a position that is security or safety related, it's supported and even encouraged.  To justify the privacy concern, if the ability of a city official could be affected by drugs, then it overrides the need for privacy and the individual should be subjected to testing.

An argument against the drug testing is the actual cost of the test.  Why should we subject the city of Evansville to this increase in cost, that may not be necessary?  I argue that I don't trust anyone in the public service sector, so they should be tested.  These city workers should be held at a higher standard than their constituents and even they have to take drug tests, at least randomly at private companies.

Why do private companies drug test?

According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 8.4 percent of full-time employees (10.2 million) and 10.1 percent of part-time employees (3 million) aged 18 or older reported using illicit drugs within the past month. Employees who abuse drugs are 2.5 times more likely than other non-substance abusing coworkers to be absent for eight or more days.2 Drug abusers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident at work and 5 times more likely to file a workers compensation claim.2 Forty-four percent of abusers have sold drugs to other employees and 18 percent have stolen from co-workers to support their habit.

This study brings up some serious concerns for a private business.  I feel these same concerns can be applied directly to city employees and their involvement in the community.   What do you think? 14News.com has a poll on their homepage asking whether Evansville City Council members should be drug tested, I encourage you to place your vote.

Smoking Ban In Evansville, Will It Hurt

Evansville Smoking Ban[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #025beb;"] L [/dropcap]ocal businesses are claiming that if the city council pushes through a smoking ban in Evansville, it will hurt, real bad.  Casino Aztar is even claiming that it could cause them to have to lay off up to 280 people.  According to Illinois Casino Harrah's, they saw an immediate drop in revenue, directly related to the smoking ban.

[quote type="center"]They went from a 4 percent gaming growth rate to a 21 percent decline in statewide gaming.[/quote]

My problem, is that if they are going to enforce a ban on the city, it should encompass ALL businesses.  There should be no favors, no exemptions, everyone should be included, and  that means Aztar would have to deal.  That said, I can't and do not support any kind of smoking ban.

Yes, I'm one of those people who feels that this is another intrusion upon our personal rights as US citizens.  No, I don't plan on smoking in restaurants or around other people, but the fact remains that it's up to the business owners discretion.

Imagine if you just launched your life long dream, you finally own your own bar and want to run it your way.  However, the city steps in and says, nope, sorry no smoking allowed.  Shouldn't that be your decision to make?  After all, people can make their own decision to patronize your bar or simply drive another 15 mins to another county and enjoy a beer and cigarette there.  Is doing what's best for our health, best for our business, right now?

Who exactly is pushing this smoking ban?  They can't be local businesses owners, because I have yet to meet a business that supports it.  As a matter of fact, restaurants/bars falling outside of city limits, yet under the Vanderburgh County ban are feeling the pinch.

People have habits, some people have bad habits, and when enough of them get together, they want to enjoy their habits in peace.  This doesn't mean they will intrude on others, but if a business supports their habit and respects their rights, why can the city intervene?

Can the Evansville economy really support a smoking ban?