At least one city commissioner wants to again explore a possible smoking ban at Selby Five Points Park.
Commissioner Dick Clapp said some downtown residents fear establishing a no-smoking campus at Selby Library will have an adverse effect on the park.
“All the people who smoke outside the library will move to Five Points Park,” he said.
The county currently prohibits its employees from smoking on all of its campuses. Library employees will also begin handing out cards to other smokers there and explaining that the county wants a non-smoking atmosphere at the library. No one will be kicked off the property or ticketed for smoking there.
Some residents would also like to see smoking prohibited at the park.
“I would encourage any kind of smoking ban,” said Andy Frank, former president of the Five Points Neighborhood Association.
She said the problem goes beyond just smoking. Frank would also like to see the city require permits for groups larger than 75 people gathered in the park.
Homeless people are not the target, she said, but rather the criminal element that hangs out at Selby Five Points Park.
The police department agrees.
Two years, ago Frank and Capt. Jeff Karr urged the city’s Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Advisory Board to toughen rules at the park.
Karr said a smoking ban was an integral part of fighting crime there.
The board denied the request, but it will take up the issue again later this month.
Clapp hopes this time the board will return to the commission with a recommendation to prohibit smoking at Selby Five Points Park.
“I’d like to have them bring that back and discuss it again,” he said.
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