County kicks butts

People looking to light up a cigarette in or near an Ottawa County building will have to rethink their smoking plans.
Alex Doty
Jan 12, 2013

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.

Comments

jbvermurlen

Its a free country and i can smoke where i choose remember we pay for the building not the goverment. next you will tell me how to wipe my BUTT

Walking Alive

Sure is JB, go ahead and sit on the courthouse steps huffing on a butt and see how far that freedom gets you. BTW, front to back.

gordbzz231

i can see the smoking ban, most places have the same rules in place, but there are smokers that come to the court house and need to dispose of their trash, including cigarette butts, they say 25 feet from the building ? parking lots and street corners would fine

GH55

Why do people think "free country" means they have the freedom to do anything they want regardless of the impact to those around them? That is just inconsiderate. Smoking is just one of those actions that result in so many effects to those arond you. I don't want your smoke in my face, I don't want to see your butts scattered everywhere, and I don't want my insurance costs to pay for your diseases! But, hey, its a "free country"!

opinionscount

Missing the days of "live and let live." I Don't smoke and won't. Ever. But, the rules and restrictions that are popping up are a clear preview of what's to come. Shackles and Chains.
Our freedoms are quickly going down the tubes.

gordbzz231

i agree with opinonscount, remember the days when you could smoke, drink and eat anywhere you desired, no one cared, but to get together and have a good time and people still died of cancer, since the big push from the insurance companys and support groups, we all kinds of rules now, mostly for the good i suppose

WalmartWolverine

I did and some rules are better than others!

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