Smoking has always been permitted in the public parks in Summerville, where I happened to grow up.
I am in agreement with Summerville Town Council's vote of 4-3 this week NOT to pass a smoking ban in parks during town events. The town of Summerville has 11 public parks, most of which host festivals and events throughout the year. The proposed ban would have included downtown events such as the upcoming Flowertown festival, that attracts hundreds of thousands from all over the world.
Councilwoman Kima Garten-Schmidt gave examples of cigarette butt litter and the potential of second-hand smoke as some big issues.
“The litter problem is really bad, mostly butts," Garten-Schmidt says."When they go to trash pickup you just can’t pick them all up. We take pride in our town, and just want it to stay clean. This is really important."
The Town already has litter laws on the books that should be enforced, over creating even more laws for police to have to navigate and also enforce.
The town banned indoor smoking eight years ago, and some said the ban in parks was the next step in the right direction - of which I disagree. Why should parks not be available to all tax payers?
Here's an on-demand podcast with callers on this topic and more on a #BigFailFriday edition of 'Mornings with Kelly Golden' on 94.3 WSC.