"It's time to call the question. I'm excited to hear what people in the community think, but I enter the conversation as a rabid anti-smoker and former smoker who thinks the government shouldn't tell me what to do with my lungs," he said.
Rybak, who kicked his habit on Aug. 8, 1979, added, "I enter this with a great deal of skepticism about whether this is government's role."
He encouraged those with thoughts on the ban to send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ban has yet to be formally introduced so some details remain unresolved, such as when the ban would begin and whether outdoor areas at bars and restaurants would be affected. A news conference is tentatively planned Tuesday to announce the proposal. A formal introduction is planned Friday, with dates of consideration in committees to be determined later.
In Minnesota, only Duluth, Moose Lake, Cloquet and Olmsted County have adopted similar bans, although 39 communities, including St. Paul, have proposed them.
Count Thune as one person who was thrilled with the Minneapolis action and thinks it will spread.
"All right! If in fact the Minneapolis council does that, the momentum is huge, not only for St. Paul, but for the suburbs as well," he said.
Rochelle Olson is at email@example.com