Shaler officials to vote on whether to make township parks smoke free
It might be lights out for smokers in Shaler Township parks if officials vote to implement a new program.
Shaler Township Board of Commissioners will consider joining the Young Lungs at Play initiative, a program offered through Tobacco Free Allegheny to create tobacco free playgrounds and parks in the county, at its Tuesday, March 12, meeting.
The Board of Commissioners considered implementing the program last year but tabled it in favor of obtaining more information about how to start the program and enforce it.
“I think we should restrict the smoking in the park,” said Commissioner Bill Cross, during the parks and recreation committee meeting last week.
“It doesn't make sense. It's hazardous … and I don't think it belongs there.”
Cross said he became more open to the program after doing some more research and talking to the director of the county program.
“My suggestion is to implement it, in a controlled environment, in one of the parks and see how it works.”
Commissioners agreed that Kiwanis Park and Crawford Pool would be the best place to pilot the program; however, commissioners still have concerns.
“What if parents leave children unsupervised at the pool to go smoke,” said Lori Voegtly Mozgorski, a member of the parks and recreation committee. “Will they be going to their car to smoke, taking their children into the car to smoke, going into the woods?”
Other commissioners questioned how the initiative would be regulated.
Shaler Township Police Chief Bryan Kelly said the rule would be “very difficult” to enforce.
“If you're going to ask the police to do that, you need a health safety ordinance (for them to enforce),” said Harlan Stone, an attorney with Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. and legal representation for the township.
Currently, more than 35 municipalities have created tobacco free parks through the program including Aspinwall, Franklin Park and Millvale boroughs and Reserve Township.
The parks and recreation committee voted to recommend considering the implementation of the program to the full board of commissioners this month.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.