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Rejected New Carlisle public park smoking ban may resurface

New Carlisle City Council members will again consider a resolution to make their public parks smoke free.

City Manager Randy Bridge said he plans to reintroduce a resolution to ban smoking in parks that would include distance restrictions around playground equipment, basketball courts and the shelter houses

Bridge said he is still working on revisions so the resolution will likely be introduced at council meetings in the coming weeks. The resolution will not include a ban on smoking along the bike path.

Council members voted 4 to 3 to reject a resolution banning smoking at city parks weeks ago, but more council members may favor the ban once changes are made.

Councilman Lowell McGlothin voted against banning smoking in the entire park, but he said likes some of the proposed changes.

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“I like the idea say of 50 feet from the playground because children would be involved. And hopefully people will pick up their cigarette butts.”

“I’m totally against smoking. I don’t think anyone should smoke to be quite honest, but I think it’s unenforceable. But it might keep people from being right on top of children (while smoking),” McGlothin said.

Vice Mayor John Krabacher was one of three council members who voted for the ban.

“New Carlisle is trying to be a healthier community,” Krabacher has said. “A community where you can walk, you can run, you can ride bikes.”

The legislation would protect children from second-hand smoke and prevent litter in the parks, he has said.

“A lot of smokers just take their cigarette butts,” he said, “and just throw them down onto the ground.

Councilman Ethan Reynolds said he wants to protect the rights of all taxpayers

Reynolds said he frequently visits the parks and has rarely seen smokers and those he does see are not near playground equipment.

He said council members should try to find a “happy medium” instead of banning smoking throughout all public parks.

“Smokers pay taxes too. They’re productive members of society. They work. I think adding a distance on play equipment is a good idea. We don’t have a smoking problem. This is something that just came out of no where,” Reynolds said.

He said council members should make sure the restrictions are not too far from the equipment to allow parents and caregivers to be close enough to their children.

“There’s a fine line of how you want to ban it, the distance around that equipment. I don’t know what that is yet, we haven’t discussed it. But when we do I will be fighting for something that maintains everybody’s liberty,” Reynolds said.

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