Seattle city parks not likely to become tobacco-free zones after all

Compared to the semi-uproar that erupted when a new draft Code of Conduct for Seattle Parks was presented to the Parks Board a month ago, there wasn’t much attention when the board voted on a revised code this past Thursday night. We couldn’t make the meeting but checked in with Alki-residing board chair Jackie Ramels on Friday to ask what happened. First, she points out, 80% of the code – “25 existing rules and regulations pertaining to parks” – is from the Seattle Municipal Code, Revised Code of Washington, or current Parks Policy and Procedures. Six new rules/regulations were added. And there were some changes from the last revision of the draft code. Ramels says:

The proposed Code of Conduct passed, with some changes; these are pertaining to new rules:

1. we re-worded and shortened the bathroom one (improper use of restrooms)

2. smoking and use of tobacco products we recommended for playgrounds, playfields and beaches within 25 ft. of another person, rather than ALL parks

3. the other new proposed rules, we passed

She adds, “We made some additional recommendations pertaining to existing rules” – including expanding the language about dog owners cleaning up after their pets, “owner carry scoop equipment AND USE IT,” and recommending that Parks “coordinate with other city departments to address homelessness — a topic that came up several times during the public hearing two weeks earlier, which also saw passionate testimony for and against a total smoking ban. Final say on the Code of Conduct rests with the City Council; it’ll show up first in the Parks Committee, which has its next meeting Thursday, 9:30 am (though its agenda for that meeting isn’t online yet). The committee’s chair, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, was at the Thursday night Parks Board meeting. Parks Board side note from Ramels: “Last week the board had a nice breakfast with most of the living former board chairs (there are seven total). Of the five who attended, two are from West Seattle: Bruce Bentley and Margaret Ceis.”

Editor’s note postscript – As pointed out later in comments, this does NOT go to the City Council – it’s an administrative rule.

8 Replies to "Seattle city parks not likely to become tobacco-free zones after all"

  • dawsonct February 13, 2010 (11:12 am)

    Well, at least I can now take my gun with me in case any smoker blows smoke in my face.

  • Ms Evelyn February 13, 2010 (11:26 am)

    Maybe we should add a 1-2% extra tax on cigarettes with the $’s going towards parks for the extra cleanup it takes. Also for candy, etc…Smokers could do a better job of cleaning up after themselves like dog owners are (and most do!)required to scoop poop!!

  • Dorthy February 13, 2010 (2:14 pm)

    @dawsonct – It sounds as if you deserved getting smoke blown in your face.

    @Ms Evelyn – Isn’t there already a law on the books for littering?

    Good job banning smoking in bars though. Now we just need to get drinking and promiscuous sex taken care of. Those drunks are a hazard that could seriously hurt me more immediately than second hand smoke.

  • OP February 13, 2010 (9:29 pm)

    Ms. Evelyn, there are plenty of non-dog owners and nonsmokers who muss up our parks. Maybe we should levy a tax on everyone who breaths. How about it? Especially those evil candy eaters! Bastards!

  • brian February 14, 2010 (4:53 pm)

    Also don’t for get to clean up the homeless because they make our fair city look uncivilized. Maybe instead of building a tunnel under the city we put clean up napkins in parks so the homeless don’t scare the children.

  • dawsonct February 14, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    That’s a rather asinine comment Brian. We need to do something for the homeless; what is uncivilized is that we have the wealthiest nation on the planet, yet allow the indigent and mentally unstable, MANY of whom are veterans who have defended our country, to languish and die on the streets.
    I hope it never happens to you. Don’t be too smug.

  • tom_haverford February 14, 2010 (9:07 pm)

    For the record, the code of conduct doesn’t go to the city council for review/adoption. It’s an administrative rule, so it begins and ends with the Parks Department. Now that that Parks Board has made their recommendation, it goes directly to Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher, and he’s got the authority to adopt it as it stands or make changes.

    • WSB February 14, 2010 (9:25 pm)

      I don’t watch TV much so I had to google your handle there to get the joke. However, you sound like someone who knows that of which they speak. Will doublecheck to make sure before amending the above copy. Thanks – TR

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