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Committee Adopts Smoke Ban in Public Parks

Ordinance adopted Tuesday carves out smoke-free zones in municipal recreation areas.

The Wyckoff Township Committee on Tuesday night adopted a revised ordinance creating smoke-free zones in municipal parks.

The vote was unanimous, with Committeeman Kevin Rooney absent.

"In typical Wyckoff fashion, with our ordinance we've reached a nice compromise," Committeeman Brian Scanlan said, addressing the revisions made to an original proposal introduced in May.

The committee tabled a previous version of the ordinance in June, two weeks after its introduction. At the time, committee members cited concerns that the proposal brought up enforcement issues, with a lack of signage and a possibility that smokers in recreation area parking lots could be unfairly ticketed.

The revised ordinance creates exemptions for parking areas as well as mandating that clear signage be posted for park visitors.

"The revisions are very good that you made," said resident John Unglert, who added that ordinances are necessary "when people forget civility and courtesy."

Susan Winton spoke against the ordinance, as she did at a meeting introducing the revisions last month, telling the committee the ordinance represented an "abuse of your power."

Mayor Rudy Boonstra said that the ban was his second time passing a resolution against public smoking. A former smoker, when he served on the Wyckoff Board of Education during the late seventies, he said, he and another smoker would light up during public meetings. They eventually passed a motion to ban tobacco use on the board's dais, he said.

"It was a simple thing we did because it was the right thing to do," he said, comparing his decades-old resolution with the ban of smoking on youth sports fields. "It's a matter of setting the right example for our youngsters."
Son_of_Wyckoff August 07, 2013 at 08:41 AM
When did we end up with nanny bloomberg running the committee? Hey guys how about a ban on smoking in the home....after all you are so concerned about smoking around children. I cant wait for the township committee to rule on what size meals we can get at a local restaurant or if we can super-size an order at McDonald's. What a joke....
Antonio August 07, 2013 at 01:09 PM
There are designated areas, thats a good thing.
Ed August 07, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Hey SOW - Don't worry; it's already happened in Calif.; a couple divorced and the mother had custody of the kid with the father getting the kid on the weekends. The old lady went to court and got an order that prevented the father from smoking in his own house whenever he had the kid! About your nanny comment. I wholeheartedly agree with you; it's a joke. To think that between my father and myself, we worked for rfe/rl (for over 50 yrs.) which was extremely instrumental in bringing down the Berlin Wall so that millions of people wouldn't have the gov't intruding into every aspect of their lives. Welcome to East Germany, USA!!!
Q August 07, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Thank you, Township Committee Members, for passing the ordinance to ban smoking in municipal parks in town. It is a quality of life improvement for most townsfolk. I do wish parking areas were included in the ban, however. I hold my breath going into restaurants when the smoking crowd is standing around on the sidewalk puffing away. I hope the municipal park lots won't be a smoke-fest.
Antonio August 07, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Bloomberg is an arrogant rich out of control control freak but the sheep keep voting for him. Even had the gall to change the term law from two to three, but the sheep didn't complain they just keep on voting for him, So New Yorkers the egg is on your face deal with the Nanny he is all yours. Maybe he will try for four. Maybe Elliot Spitzer should should run for Mayor and Comptroller. Double dipping is the way to go. NJ wrote the book on it.
Son_of_Wyckoff August 08, 2013 at 09:05 AM
I bet you Q would vote for nanny bloomberg.
Ed August 08, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Sounds like Q might even be related to "nanny."
Q August 09, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Unfortunately, not related to Bloomberg so no inheritance pending. I just like the air I inhale to be as clean as possible. If others want to sit in their smoke filled cars (windows up) sipping a Big Gulp and snarfing a Big Mac, by all means go ahead and do it. Pollute your own body; not mine.
Ed August 09, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Q - Please don't forget to mention talking on the phone either while in the car. That will kill you and other people quicker than anything. Not to worry, though; Wyckoff police don't enforce that major killer!!! They're too busy making believe they're the Beatles! As far as breathing the air, be my guest! That will kill you quicker than second hand smoke.
Q August 09, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Yes, Ed, I've smelled some rather noxious fumes just walking out my door, confirming with a neighbor to make sure I'm not imagining the smell, but I'd rather not have second hand smoke on top of the poisons already out there in our Superfund Zone. 15 sites in Bergen County are listed by the NJDEP and hopefully they are making progress with the clean up. Smokers may throw in the towel regarding air pollution, since they are busily creating their own personal superfund sites internally, but some of us prefer to see air quality improve. On another topic...I agree, Ed, that cell phone use is a hazard in the car. I do not use one while driving and use it as little as possible outside the car as well.
Antonio August 09, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Bloomberg is an arrogant rich out of control control freak but the sheep keep voting for him. Even had the gall to change the term law from two to three, but the sheep didn't complain they just keep on voting for him, So New Yorkers the egg is on your face deal with the Nanny he is all yours. Maybe he will try for four. Maybe Elliot Spitzer should should run for Mayor and Comptroller. Double dipping is the way to go. NJ wrote the book on it.
Ed August 09, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Q - Fair enough; let's agree to disagree. Have a good night.
Q August 09, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Don't get me started on groundwater :). Have a nice night.
John A. Unglert August 11, 2013 at 09:19 AM
As a smoker I spoke, on the record, in support the this decsion and ordinance change. I believe, as a smoker, that I have a personal responsibility to NOT let my smoking affect/effect others in public places such as recreational areas. Since the rules of civility and courtesy have been thrown out the window then I think we must do something in this situation. I am NOT suggesting we start on a Bloomberg path. Only in this instance where my smoking, can, hurt someone else, then there should be "smoke-free" zones. If others had been considerate then this would have never come about. I know my dear friend Sue disagrees with me, but I am sure we have many thoughts in common. There are individual rights and then there are the rights for the common good/community. In this case the common god out weighs. The TCM did a fine job in the revisions. A lot of thought went into them after Mr. Rooney and Mr. Jepsen voiced their concerns. I command the TCM !
Susan W Winton August 12, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Yes John, I disagree with you. The members of the Wyckoff Township Committee were elected to run the town, not the Citizens lives. If you are on one of the fields and someone is smoking near you, you can walk away. Now they have turned the parking lots, thru which everyone has to walk , into ashtrays! Besides the cost to our freedom, how much will we have to pay for the many "No Smoking" "Smoking Permitted Here" signs, the people who will enforce these laws and the people who will have to clean up? They have restricted people's rights on wide open space! This is NOT a compromise as Mr Scanlan calls it. It is an infringement on the rights of We The People. What will be next? Finally, how many people in Wyckoff does this apply to? I suspect that it is very few!
Susan W Winton August 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM
P S I am not a smoker. I am a firm believer in the rights of all the people.

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