The discussion of a possible ordinance limiting smoking at public events- especially little league baseball games- dominated Wednesday’s Price City Council Meeting.
Stacey Basinger addressed the council regarding the concerns that many have recently expressed about the health effects of secondhand smoke at the games. Basinger presented the council with a petition, signed by 655 people, which has been circulated at recent public events in support of establishing an ordinance to provide enforceable rules.
“People were extremely supportive,” she said. In fact, she reported that only 10 people expressed disagreement with the idea as they acquired the signatures.
She asked the council to support an ordinance that would establish an 25-foot boundary, saying “We aren’t asking for a ban, we’re asking for a boundary. The kids deserve an environment that is healthy.”
Though many of the council members articulated their support of the underlying idea, including Councilperson Jeanne McEvoy, she also expressed concern for the rights of those people who smoke, and some doubts as to the extent of the problem. “It seems there are less smokers at ball parks now than there used to be,” she said. “Although I definitely support the idea, I also promote other healthy lifestyles that this might prevent.”
InВ speaking about other healthy lifestyles such a rule might prevent, McEvoy referred to parents who might smoke when they take their children to the park, those supporting their children at sporting events, and many others who may be affected by such an ordinance.
Councilperson Kathy Hanna-Smith was candid in her support, saying, “It is one of my greatest disappointments that it isn’t already enforced county-wide.”
Hanna-Smith said it “contradicted” the efforts the county has been making to promote healthy lifestyles to not support an ordinance that would show youngsters that smoking is bad for a person’s health. “We’ve quit smoking in bars,” she said, “but we still smoke in parks.”
Councilperson Jeff Nielson clarified the particulars of the proposal, asking how Basinger proposed the rules would designate where the 25-foot boundary would start. Mayor Joe Piccolo proposed that the most simple and effective ways would be to install signs indicating smoking would not be allowed within 25 feet of the spot the signs were placed.
Piccolo also reminded the council that funding would need to be considered in installing signs, making it important that establishing such an ordinance would entail budget considerations. He instructed the council that if they were to vote in favor of drafting a resolution, the cost must be calculated.
Councilperson Richard Tatton motioned that the council draft a proposal, and bring it back for approval at a later meeting. The motion passed with McEvoy abstaining.