GATTMAN – The Gattman Board of Aldermen recently officially approved for the village’s public places to go smoke-free, rounding out all of Monroe County’s municipalities in the same action.

“We had it tabled a couple of times but we’re proud to join up,” said Mayor Wayne Downey.

Helen Boerner, director of the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Monroe and Itawamba counties, first presented the idea to board members some years ago but decided to let it ride for a while.

When she returned last month to bring up the subject again, Downey thought it was already smoke-free.

“We’ve got No Smoking signs up at all three of our buildings,” Boerner quoted him as saying.

The formality of passing an ordinance had not yet been done. The delay was blamed on waiting for all the aldermen to be present. The ordinance was adopted and made effective that same day. It specifies Gattman’s public buildings be 100 percent smoke-free, which includes e-cigarettes.

Downey is grateful for the cooperation, even though it was slow coming.

“We just don’t want to be the last ones to do everything,” he said.

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