Updated 08/27/2012 10:52 PM
Schenectady City Council votes to ban smoking in city parks
In a unanimous vote Monday night, the Schenectady City Council decided to ban smoking in city parks. It was a debate that brought out strong opinions of both sides of the issue. Our Erin Vannella was at Monday night’s meeting for the vote and has more.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- The Schenectady City Council voted unanimously to ban smoking in city parks. Council members voted six to zero in favor of the ban.
Smoking was already banned in park playgrounds and now that's been extended to all park land within the city.
Council members say they're concerned about the impact on the health of residents, especially children.
Opponents of the ban say they're concerned that it could set a precedent, that city leaders can decide what people can and can't do in a public place.
“You know what, why weren't we overreaching when we banned it in restaurants? It's innocent people who don't smoke that end up being subject to secondhand smoke and especially in this case, we're talking about our children. I don't think we can ever protect our children enough,” said Leesa Perazzo, Schenectady City Councilmember.
The city has not said how the ban will be enforced, or what the penalties would be for violations.