Alderman Seeks Smoking Ban at School Bus Stops
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 | Jeff Cole | Categories:
Hornell —The Evening Tribune
Addressing parental concerns about smoking at school bus stops, Hornell 9th Ward Alderman John Buckley is looking to ban smoking at those locations.
"The legislation that I have proposed to the Law and Ordinance Committee would be a local ordinance that would ban smoking at school bus stops in the city of Hornell," Buckley said. "The reason for it is, I've had parents over the years approach me, concerned with other parents smoking in front of their kids, exposing their children to smoke at the school bus stops. A little courtesy would go a long way but unfortunately some people just don't have that common courtesy and insist on smoking any way."
The ban, Buckley said, would be in effect during the two times in the day when the bus stops operate.
"So you're really just looking at a few minutes in the afternoon and in the morning you might be looking at 20 minutes, but that's something we'll discuss further," Buckley said.
There would be one exception to the ban, however.
"If an official bus stop is on a person's property and it's their own children (involved), obviously we're not going to try to legislate what you can and can't do on your property, but if it's city property (that's different). That's really what I'm trying to tackle," Buckley said.
Buckley said he investigated possible legislative avenues and is using a smoking ordinance passed by the City Council of Augusta, Maine, as his starting point.
"What I'm requesting from (Law and Ordinance Committee) Chairman (Robert) Murray is to convene the Law and Ordinance Committee to discuss the matter and hopefully get something on the books," said Buckley, who noted the legislation would have to pass through the committee, the board of public safety and the Common Council to take effect.
Buckley said he has reached out to Hornell City School District Superintendent Doug Wyant Jr. and the school board and has received positive feedback on the ban. He said he is seeking a resolution of support from the school board.
When asked to comment on the ban, Wyant said, "I support it 100 percent."
Support from the majority of the people is something Buckley is also seeking.
"I think it's a good thing for the kids," Buckley said. "Smoking is one of those topics that comes up a lot: where can you do it? Where can't you do it? I respect people's right to smoke on public property, but at the same time, I think people need to be cognizant that there are children at these bus stops and that's why the bus stops are there."