Thanks, Guilderland, for banning smoking in ‘open spaces’

To the Editor:

I want to thank Guilderland Supervisor Peter Barber and all four members of the town board for clearing the air of the many toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke and clearing the ground of butts. I am especially grateful for how expeditiously this was accomplished. I also want to thank Greg Wier, director of Parks and Recreation, and Linda Cure, director of  the town’s summer programs.

The Guilderland law was modeled on the Albany County parks law that was introduced by County Legislator Paul Miller. Like the county law, the Guilderland law prohibits cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking as well as e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco. In addition to parks, the Guilderland law includes “open spaces” such as trails and children’s play areas.

When Broden Higgings was in the fourth grade, he wrote an outstanding letter to The Altamont Enterprise.  He stated that a “reason that the parks should be smoke-free is people should be good role models for kids. It is important for a park to be about staying healthy.” Guilderland has just made the parks healthier and more enjoyable places to visit.    

Of course, if we want people to obey the new law, they have to know what the law is. This involves good signage. Given how efficiently Guilderland got the law passed, I believe that we will soon see beautiful and informative signs in our parks. I hope the town is quicker than the county has been so that the citizens will reap the benefits of this new law while we still have some summer left.

Democrats and Republicans unanimously voted for the county law on May 8.  County Executive Dan McCoy signed it on or about May 25.  The last time I checked at Ann Lee Pond (Aug. 22), there were no signs.   There were, however, butts.

Carol Waterman



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