Smoking bans in parks can get a little cloudy
In Claremont, City Council members passed over a proposed ordinance to ban smoking in public parks Wednesday after residents expressed their opposition at the meeting as well as through emails and comments to councilors before the meeting, City Manager Guy Santagate said.
Council members are concerned about protecting non-smokers in public parks, especially children, Santagate said.
The vote was made contingent on legal approval, he said.
“We had a discussion for putting various signs up in town,” Gleason said. “One of the questions that was brought up was whether or not we should put on the signs ‘no smoking.’”
“You start spending taxpayer money in challenges,” he said. “We don’t have the statutory authority. We could request it, but choose not to.”
Police Chief Kevin Walsh said signs will ask beachgoers not to smoke, but they will not face a penalty or fine if they do.
The ordinance is aimed at public gatherings on town land such as outdoor concerts, the farmers’ market or ball games.
The signs have just gone up and the ordinance hasn’t been enforced yet, he said.
“Every time you do something like that you have pros and cons, and you try to navigate down the middle,” Nichols said.
Santagate said he doesn’t see a legality issue in Claremont’s proposed smoking ordinance for city parks.
“It’s a limited ban in that each place would have an area to smoke,” Santagate said.
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