"We, The People." 3-28-11


First of all, I want to say that my prayers and the prayers of my family are with all the families affected by the tragedy in Cleveland Park.  It is in times like these that we can only take comfort in the knowledge that there is a greater purpose than our fleeting lives on this earth.  Take this opportunity to love and enjoy your children and all your fellow man with the time that you are given. 


March General Session


County-Wide Smoking Ban  

For a third consecutive month, we heard more information from those favoring a county-wide smoking ban.  One of the items discussed was the long-term effects of second-hand smoke on an establishment’s employees.  It was discussed that these employees could not simply quit their jobs (especially in this economy) and go somewhere that did not allow smoking.  At first glance this seemed like a very viable 

argument and was really making this a tougher issue for me.  The problem with hearing only one side of the argument (as we have been doing for three months now) is that it's easy to get skewed one way or the other if you don't really take time to think it through.  A couple of days later it struck me that these employees (who don't have the luxury of going somewhere else) physically went to that smoke filled establishment and handed in a signed application for employment; were offered and then accepted a job.  Now, we are being told that the government must step in and help them because they're being harmed by an environment they chose to be in and cannot leave.  It appears this issue has now stepped on TWO of my biggest principles: Too much government involvement and relinquishment of personal responsibility.  

 Since this issue has become such a hot topic (no pun intended) I decided to go out and discuss it with restaurants in our district.  Here is what I found: 



·        10 Restaurants Polled (random)

·        9 Non-Smoking; 1 Smoking

·        9 Against Smoking Ban; 1 for Smoking Ban*

·        Without exception, everyone thought they should make the decision, not the government

·        Restaurant Owners Association also polled their members and had similar results

*The one for the ban was in favor because the government (city) had already stepped in nearby and thus created an unfair environment for them. 


Summary: Restaurants are going smoke free on their own and want that decision to stay with them and not the government.

Again, no action was taken as none was requested.


Open Burning and Recreational Fires

This is another hot topic (sorry) that seems to have a lot of people on both sides smoking (ok, I'll quit).  It was brought to our attention that the county already has an ordinance that regulates this type of activity.  Staff informed us at the meeting that they will now be enforcing this ordinance.  Since we were not changing anything and are only going to be enforcing what we already have on the books, no action was requested or taken.  You can get all these written documents and guidelines from my website.


That's all I have this week.  Please note that our budget is coming up in the next several weeks and we will be dealing with many important issues.  I will try to keep you as informed as I can, but please get involved and let your voices be heard during this process.  When it's done and in the books is not the time to start speaking out. 


I am constantly looking for more ways to keep everyone informed and involved, so along with this article I have also put together a newsletter that you can sign up for on our website.  I am also looking into the possibility of taping our council meetings and posting them online for those that cannot attend.  Please contact me with suggestions you may have for getting more people involved. 


As always, I want your feedback. Please call (706-1557) or email me anytime.  I would love to speak (or more importantly listen) at your next homeowners' meeting!  Please visit us now on Facebook (County Council District 6).  Please keep in contact and get involved. Together, "We, The People" can do some great things.  God Bless. 



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