Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Poll: "Aldermen move toward banning smoking at city recreation areas"

From The Journal Times.com:

"RACINE — Outdoor smoking would be banned in all city recreational areas under an ordinance alderman have directed the city attorney to formulate.

"Meeting as a Committee of the Whole on Monday evening, aldermen voted 7-1 to have the ordinance drafted. It would prohibit smoking and smoking by-products such as cigar and cigarette butts in city parks and park shelters, golf courses, playgrounds, beaches and sports complexes such as Horlick Athletic Field. The ordinance as proposed would include designated parking areas.

"The discussion and vote followed a presentation about smoking and its effects by Racine Health Department Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox. She said 845 municipalities across the country have passed smoke-free-park legislation, and 170 so far have banned smoking on beaches.

"In her presentation she cited Parks Superintendent Mike Willis’ statement that smokers are a particular problem on city beaches. Cigarette butts cast aside can only be collected by hand, and are left behind by the thousands while taking approximately 15 years to decompose.

"11th District Alderman Greg Helding said he was more concerned with the litter than the smoking but said, 'If you go after one you have to go after the other.'

“'I think it’s a great idea,' said 3rd District Alderman Michael Shields. But he wanted to know the fiscal impact and how such an ordinance would be enforced.

"Bowersox said a $7,000 grant would cover most or all of the cost of signage.

"And she said, 'The nice thing about our society is we’re self-regulating, we’re self-compliant.' Most people would voluntarily comply, she said.

"Sidewalks outside the parks and other recreational areas would become the available smoking areas, Bowersox said after the meeting.

"In response to a question, she said the prohibition would not include electronic cigarettes, because the federal government has not so far put them in the same classification with regular cigarettes.

"15th District Alderman Eddie Diehl voiced concern that a ban could snag some visitors from out of town who might miss the signs.

"The Committee of the Whole is comprised of the entire City Council but does not take final action. With four aldermen absent and Shields not voting, only 1st District Alderman Jeff Coe voted against directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance.

"It was clear a few were thinking about exceptions instead of a blanket ban. Sixth District Alderman Sandy Weidner, for example, said she might want to make exceptions in places where mainly adults play — for example, at adult softball games.

"And Helding questioned banning cigars on the golf courses, saying, “A cigar while golfing is as American as apple pie.'”

Read more:  http://journaltimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/aldermen-move-toward-banning-smoking-at-city-recreation-areas/article_4bc04cf8-1f91-11e3-8c0b-001a4bcf887a.html

I think this is asinine. I feel so bad for my hometown. Monsters are destroying it. As usual, lying worm Greg Helding wants one set of rules for himself and a different set for others.


kkdither said...

Are you kidding me? This is what our representatives have time to discuss and spend money on? We have a ridiculous unemployment rate, we have home foreclosures and vacant properties. We have cuts to police and fire services, furlough days on garbage collection and library services, cuts to education...

While I am not a fan of second-hand smoke, you can always move if you are outdoors and the offender is within sensory discomfort. I would believe our sand sifting machine can and does remove stones, debris AND cigarette butts from the beach.

"I'll vote yes if I can still have my cigar while golfing." What a pompous ass. That ranks up there with, "Let them eat cake."

OrbsCorbs said...


The first thing that I thought of was those sand sifters, too, kk. The ones they had when I was a kid picked up cigarette butts.

I quit smoking 20 years ago, but this is ridiculous. I would argue that a cigarette while drinking is also "as American as apple pie," but they've already banned that.

See the blog above for more of how our "leaders" spend their time trying to legislate behavior rather than taking on the serious issues in Racine.

SER said...

This to me is another “Blue Law” that the police are not going to go out of their way to enforce UNLESS it is a flagrante violation such as someone opening a pack of smokes and tossing the wrappings on the ground.

Pop-tops use to be bad and the sifters clean those up, I to believe it will pick up the butts.

I personally know a few people who don't smoke, but when they hit the links, out comes their stogie, they may have to lite it a dozen time before they finish a round but it IS part of their game along with a few beers!

drewzepmeister said...

Really, I'd like to see a cop go walking around the trails I've been on trying to bust smokers. Isn't gonna happen...