The East Ridge City Council, with Vice Mayor Larry Sewell absent, on Thursday night delayed a final vote on a tobacco ban on city property and vehicles until July 26.
The council had approved the sweeping proposal 4-1 on first reading with Denny Manning the only holdout.
Councilman Jim Bethune said Thursday he was rethinking his position after getting negative feedback from a number of his supporters.
The ban, that was urged by City Manager Tim Gobble and strongly supported by Councilman Darwin Branum, was not due to go into effect until three months after passage.
In another matter, East Ridge officials said they are considering deep-sixing the city's Facebook site that was designed to display "positive news" about the city, but has ended up peppered with "malicious" comments about city officials.
In a discussion during the agenda session, Councilmen Branum and Bethune said they favor doing away with the site that has been up since 2008. They said City Manager Gobble has more to do than be concerned with deleting negative remarks from the site. He has taken over the duty since the recent exit of planning director Trish Startup.
Mr. Gobble said the site has almost 5,000 "friends" so is visited often.
The site directs users not to post attacks against individuals, but that has not stopped the negativism.
Councilman Bethune said, "To me, somebody who hides behind a computer is a coward." He said those with gripes about city government should appear personally before the commission.
Councilman Branum said some of the remarks posted on the Internet about him "have caused my daughter to cry, and she's 46 years old." He said he does not pay any attention to the attacks himself.
Mayor Brent Lambert said some have posted "awful, awful things about me and my family. They even attack my children and they are under five years old."
One suggestion was to convert the site to a "fan page" that does not allow feedback.
Mr. Gobble, questioned about using the city website to post good news, said it is much harder to post items to than the Facebook page.
Council members were advised that operators of four new fireworks emporiums in the city plan to waste no time getting open. Under the new state law, they can open July 1.
Officials said the brightly-painted stores are planning to open their doors at midnight this Sunday (July 1). That will be right after the close of the city's Liberty Fest at Camp Jordan Park.
Some concern was expressed about a possible traffic jam on Ringgold Road near three of the new stores at Exit 1 of I-75. The fourth store is in the old Kmart on Access Road.
The city has begun making use of the old McBrien School, which was declared in good condition.
Batting cages have been set up in the gym, and the police department has been making use of some of the space.
Council members expressed concern about a plethora of mosquitoes in the city.
They said East Ridge formerly sprayed periodically in areas near waterways, but it stopped when the county health department took over the duty. Then the health department stopped. Councilman Manning said he was told the county stopped because the cost of the chemicals got so high.
Councilman Manning said those who go outside near his home "get eat up" with mosquitoes.
Mr. Gobble said he went walking on one of the city's new nature trails near the creek at Camp Jordan and came back out of the woods with at least 150 mosquito bites after he forgot to put on mosquito spray.