Group takes message to council

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2001

Monday was Target Market Day in Austin, but you probably did not even know it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Monday was Target Market Day in Austin, but you probably did not even know it. Target Market is an organization aimed at getting big tobacco companies to stop targeting youth with their advertisements.

Email newsletter signup

Three members of Target Market – Joshua Gardner, Joshua Derr and Nathan Glenn – addressed the council on Monday night.

Derr said studies have shown if pro-tobacco advertising aimed at youth increases, youth smoking rates increase. He cited advertising placed at the eye level of children as one example of big tobacco targeting people other than adults.

Glenn wondered whether the city could work with Target Market through restricting the placement of advertising in stores.

"I appreciate the work you’re doing," Mayor Bonnie Rietz said. With that Rietz proclaimed the day Target Market day, saying, "I urge citizens to get involved to prevent big tobacco from targeting youth."

First Ward Councilman Wayne Goodnature suggested the city look into something "more than lip service," such as an ordinance to prevent smoking in restaurants.

Third Ward Councilwoman Gloria Nordin said she has information about an ordinance and would share it with the council.

After Target Market’s efforts were discussed, the council meeting continued with the several actions, including the following:

n The final platting of Lickteig Second Addition was struck from the agenda. Zoning Administrator Craig Hoium said he could not estimate when the 19 conditions of approval of the final platting would be resolved or addressed.

n The council approved a resolution to submit an application to the Minnesota Department of Waters for flood buyout assistance. This would provide additional funding for the buyout of six of the most severely damaged homes in the flood area. One-half of the 25 percent of the cost of buying the six homes will be paid with this new assistance, if it is granted.

n The council approved the honorary street address of 1937 SPAM Blvd. requested by Hormel Foods Corp. for the SPAM Museum at its Corporate Office South. Signage would be placed on a small stretch of 11th Avenue NW, but other addresses along that street and Main Street North would not change.

The action passed in a vote of 6-1, with Third Ward Councilman Dick Lang dissenting. Lang said he wondered when it was going to end.

Though he voted for the action, Goodnature agreed with Lang: "I wish we would find something beyond SPAM as an identity for our community, because there is more to who we are."

Third Ward Councilwoman Gloria Nordin said she has spoken with business people who approve of the honorary street name. In fact, she added those two people suggested making the water tower into the shape of a SPAM can.