Roswell close to ban on smoking in parks
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Roswell City Council changed direction Monday night and approved a total ban on smoking in city parks.
The council voted for the ban after considering different ways to limit park smoking, such as requiring people to light up in parking lots or inside their cars with the windows rolled up. The city's Recreation Commission urged a total ban.
In November, the City Council voted to limit smoking to designated spots in the city’s 18 parks. Supporters of the idea said they didn't want to drive people -- even smokers -- out of the parks.
The Recreation Commission, which is composed of seven residents, was supposed to identify the smoking spots. But Recreation Director Joe Glover said the group struggled with the assignment.
“Each park would be different,” Glover said. “Somebody would have to tell them [smokers] you have to go over here, you have to go over there.”
Said City Councilwoman Nancy Diamond: “They just decided enforcement would be a nightmare.”
At the Recreation Commission's request, the City Council reconsidered and put the total ban on the agenda earlier this month.
It passed on a first reading Monday night, with Councilwoman Betty Price casting the only no vote. Mayor Jere Wood had also opposed the ban, but he couldn’t vote because it wasn’t a tie-breaker situation. A second reading of the new ordinance is scheduled for June 7.
Glover said the ban probably won’t go into effect for a couple of months while no-smoking signs are installed. He said police could cite park smokers, but "we don't want to arrest anybody."
In the metro area, the city of Marietta and Clayton and Henry counties have enacted total smoking bans in parks.
© 2010 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution