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Should Smoking Be Allowed on City Grounds?

The city is considering an exception to an ordinance that prohibits it to allow people to smoke on a patio outside of the Community Center.

The City of Greenfield is considering a change to its smoking ordinance that would allow people who rent out the Community Center to smoke on city grounds.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Jaquish would like an exception made to the ordinance that prohibits smoking on city grounds, except for in parks, to exclude a 4-foot by 8-foot concrete patio on the north side of the Community Center, according to minutes from the November Board of Health meeting.

The reason behind Jaquish’s request is the city has received complaints from neighbors, specifically those in the apartment complex across the street from the center, about people attending functions or events at the center leaving the area to smoke in their neighborhood.

Some neighbors even said people have come into the apartment complex to smoke, the minutes indicated.

Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said since July 2012, his department has responded to four noise complaints for loud music coming from the center, with the last coming in November. But he said the Parks Department has put in safeguards to prevent those noise issues, and if people have complaints about smoking in the area, his department hasn’t heard them.

Darren Rausch, the city’s health director, said at the Board of Health meeting changing the ordinance would be a step backward in terms of curbing smoking in the city.

The proposal passed through the Board of Health with a 5-1 vote — only Rausch voted against it — and will be addressed at the Legislative Committee at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12, before potentially heading to the Common Council.

Ann January 19, 2013 at 01:26 AM
No they shouldn't change the ban and No Tresspassing signs should be posted by the apartments and whoever violates it be ticketed. Why are we ok with changing laws for people who want to kill themselves and others - if the smokers want to smoke - go in your car and breath the filthy air yourself.
robert heule January 19, 2013 at 02:34 PM
This would be setting a bad example. The city is obligated to protect the health, safety and welfare of its inhabitants.Having the proposal come from the Board of Health is an embarrassment to the community. Please don't let "old Greenfield" raise its ugly head.
lolo peeg January 19, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Let's ban driving on city property since someone could get hurt if a car hits them. We could also ban breathing, since the carbon dioxide that we exhale is a greenhouse gas that endangers the environment! The city is NOT obligated to protect people from themselves. The relaxation of the smoking ban makes sense as long as (1) the smoke does not impact those who do not want to be exposed to it, (2) smokers are instructed to clean up after themselves, and (3) smokers do not disturb nearby residents..
robert heule January 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Be careful where you put your butt(s)
Veronica Wallace-k January 20, 2013 at 02:23 PM
I want to smell the roses! Not only are there wonderful roses around the terrace, but they are at the entrance also. No one wants to have an event ruined by having to walk thru stench to enter the building. That ruins an event as much as a dirty bathroom.
robert heule January 21, 2013 at 09:56 PM
The lead paragraph of the article in Patch states as follows "allow people who rent out the Community Center to smoke on city grounds". If a person does not rent out the Community Center, is he or she allowed to smoke on the 4' x 8' patio? Laws, ordinances and rules should not be vague. The proposal should be clarified before the vote or scrapped, preferably the latter.
robert heule January 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Either in late 2011 or early 2012, the Common Council adopted a resolution requested by the tavern owners that asks the Legislature to repeal the part of the law prohibiting smoking in bars.
robert heule January 21, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Clear the air: The Legislative Committee meets tonight at 6:30 in the Common Council chamber to act on the smoking advocacy proposal by the Greenfield Board of Health.

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