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County kicks butts

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:03 PM

At the beginning of the year, all county government campuses became smoke-free for both employees and the public. County parks are the exception.

“Employees are going to be the major group affected because they are here every day,” County Administrator Al Vanderberg said.

Employees that violate the new smoking ban face consequences.

“If an employee violates it, there would be the normal disciplinary procedures,” Vanderberg said.

A violator would first be warned. If a county employee repeatedly violates the ban, they could lose their job.

“We haven't had any complaints,” Vanderberg said. “Fewer than 10 percent of our employees and spouses are smokers.”

To make the transition, Vanderberg said that those coming into the county's campuses will be made aware of the new rules.

“Basically, for citizens coming in for services, we will be really good stewards so that they know it is a smoke-free campus,” he said.

As another visual reminder, Vanderberg said the canisters for depositing cigarettes within 25 feet of county buildings have been removed.

Tami Sagher, who was visiting the County Courthouse in Grand Haven earlier this week, thinks the ban will draw criticism from both the public and county employees.

“I am a smoker, and I feel like this policy would be confusing for the people who come here,” the Grand Rapids woman said. “I really wasn’t sure there was a plan.”

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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