Council discusses smoking ban on city property

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Monday, September 17, 2012 | Jeffery Smith | Categories:
Corning, N.Y. — The City Council is discussing outlawing smoking and chewing tobacco on all city-owned property, including parks, alleys and several sidewalks. Councilmen Lee Welles, D-2, and Hilda Lando, D-3, recently sent emails to fellow City Council members suggesting the benefits of a potential tobacco ban, according to several council members. However, the issue has not yet been placed on a City Council or committee agenda, said Councilman Frank Muccini, R-5. City properties include city streets and parking lots, alleys, several sidewalks – including Bridge and Market streets – seven city parks, City Hall, the city department of public works facilities and Centerway Square. The Steuben County Legislature’s Human Services, Health and Education Committee recently adopted a draft law prohibiting the use of tobacco on county-owned or leased property. But several City Council members and Gaffer District officials are against banning tobacco use on city-owned property. City Mayor Rich Negri said the local law would be too difficult for a limited city police department to enforce and unfair to those who smoke or chew tobacco. “It is legal in this country to smoke and chew tobacco,” Negri said. Councilmen Frank Muccini, R-5, Frank Coccho, D-6, and Jim Nelson, R-7, all agreed the law would place a heavy burden on city police. “It would be too hard to enforce,” Muccini said. “When you think of the city parks, Centerway Square, the sidewalks and other city facilities; just too hard to enforce.” Joe Lando, owner of Lando’s Hotel & Lounge on Bridge Street and a member of the Gaffer District Board, said the law would create animosity with tourists visiting the city. “I think it would give Corning a bad name,” he said. Several Gaffer District bar and restaurant owners said the law would have a negative effect on their businesses. Councilman Myron Crispino, R-1, and Bill Boland, D-4, said they have not studied the issue thoroughly and could comment. Welles and Lando could not be reached for comment.
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