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Columbia County extends smoking ban

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The Columbia County Board of Commissioners approved a revision to an anti-smoking ordinance Tuesday that now bans lighting up a cigarette, even outdoors, on most county-owned properties.

The revision received initial approval earlier this month on a first reading, but two commission votes are required to change or approve county ordinances.

At that June 7 meeting, some in attendance called the revision a government infringement on personal liberties. Still, it passed 4-1, with Commissioner Charles Allen providing the dissenting vote.

No one protested the revision's final reading on Tuesday, but Allen still was the sole commissioner to vote against the change.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross has called the matter a public safety issue and said government has a responsibility to protect its citizens.

The updated ordinance, which took immediate effect, prohibits smoking on most county properties. However, it allows for exclusions at Wildwood Park, fire stations and a designated area at the county detention center.

Though the commission condemned the use of nicotine, it condoned the consumption of caffeine.

Also at the Tuesday meeting, commissioners approved a $22,000 contract to provide coffee to 34 county departments.

The new contract with Evans-based Job Java LLC is a 15 percent increase over previous years and reflects the rising costs of commodities.

Currently, Job Java provides county employees with 8 ounce cups, and Colombian, house blend and decaffeinated coffees.

Last year, according to county figures, government departments and the sheriff's office combined to consume 424 cases of coffee.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115,
or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (28) Add comment
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dougk
3
Points
dougk 06/21/11 - 08:30 pm
0
0
Wait?!?!?!....taxpayers are
Unpublished

Wait?!?!?!....taxpayers are footing the bill ($22,000) for free coffee to Columbia County employees? The commissioners might be glad that I'm not a taxpayer in their county.

Riverman1
83899
Points
Riverman1 06/21/11 - 08:55 pm
1
0
If the Commission is going to

If the Commission is going to give free coffee to county employees, there's no reason the BOE shouldn't give teachers the same.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 06/21/11 - 09:23 pm
0
0
No, River..this kind of perk
Unpublished

No, River..this kind of perk should not be extended in the first place...expanded it to other county employees is not the answer. But, again, I am not Columbia county taxpayer.....if I was...well, look out.

Riverman1
83899
Points
Riverman1 06/21/11 - 09:08 pm
1
0
DougK, yep.

DougK, yep.

fred1217
4
Points
fred1217 06/21/11 - 09:43 pm
1
0
What I want to know is was

What I want to know is was this vote along racial lines. I've been reading the Augusta Chronicle coverage on Richmond County Commission votes so long, I just had to ask! (Sarcasm Implied)

colcores
22
Points
colcores 06/21/11 - 09:53 pm
1
0
Coffee should never be

Coffee should never be provided for county employees at the expense of the tax payers. How many votes will this $22,000 buy? Is the county providing an alternative drink for those who do not drink coffee? If not, then this is definately discrimmination.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 06/22/11 - 08:20 am
1
0
Ahhhh, the government

Ahhhh, the government "Responsibility to Protect" rears its ugly head. Isn't that excactly what socialist Samantha Powers (part of the obama administration) is all about? Hmmmmm. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it? Could it be that at least one of our commissioners.....nah, never mind.

Newsflash to govt employees & politicians. We have parents or we are all adults. We can take care of ourselves, thank you very much. You are not our mommy or our daddy. Stop regulating us to death & acting like it.

Oh, and I'm a non-smoker, never have been, never will be, I despise everything about it. I'm just a citizen who's tired of the govt telling us how to live every little detail of our lives. What will they do next? Tell us how to wipe or what kind of apples to buy?

kmmfa
1
Points
kmmfa 06/21/11 - 10:48 pm
1
0
OK, the next thing to

OK, the next thing to eliminate is the wait staff and all these women that feel like the more dollar tree perfume they pour on, the more they will be liked. My food tastes like their perfume. I would appreciate it if they would just take a bath instead.

dichotomy
32916
Points
dichotomy 06/21/11 - 10:54 pm
1
0
What good is a cup of coffee

What good is a cup of coffee without a cigarette to go along with it?

Public safety issue my eye. Nobody has ever cauget cancer or even had an asthma attack from walking by someone smoking outdoors, particularly if they are in a designated area away from doorways and sidewalks. You want to do something for public health? Outlaw perfume on county owned property. Some of that crap women wear today will definitely set off a respiratory attack.

Bubbie
1
Points
Bubbie 06/21/11 - 11:27 pm
1
0
I love how the coffee item

I love how the coffee item was hiden down in this story about a smoking ban. "Commission Chairman Ron Cross has called the matter a public safety issue and said government has a responsibility to protect its citizens." I have an issue with Mr. Cross thinking I should pay for his coffee.

Sweet son
10398
Points
Sweet son 06/22/11 - 01:16 am
1
0
If we are going to buy coffee

If we are going to buy coffee for the FD then why not buy their smokes too!! Man, that is just damn crazy! My comment will be thrown out if damn is a filtered word. Sean told me the other day that I should know if it is allowed when I post so I will see what happens!!

msgret92
121
Points
msgret92 06/22/11 - 05:59 am
1
0
Free coffee is a fringe

Free coffee is a fringe benefit, I wonder how many county coffee drinkers are reporting it on their taxes.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 06/22/11 - 07:56 am
0
1
Hooray! Another step forward

Hooray! Another step forward for the health of the people of the community! Yay CC! Let's take the land that is growing tobacco and grow corn or another food product. As for the coffee, I agree, why is the county spending the money? Everywhere I have worked the coffee was provided by a coffee pool of the employees, or brought in their thermoses.
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke

Riverman1
83899
Points
Riverman1 06/22/11 - 08:36 am
0
0
Momster59, high fructose corn

Momster59, high fructose corn syrup has probably killed more people than tobacco. But maybe this is a good idea to have the police enforcing a no smoking ban on county property.

Shouldn't it apply to the roads too? When a car enters Columbia County territority on I-20 or some other road, we should have deputies observing to catch them smoking.

We need checkpoints on roads on Saturday night and if someone smells like cigarette smoke, he should be pulled out of the car and made to breathe deeply in and out rapidly to see if any lingering smoke comes out. There is no end to what we can legislate.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 06/22/11 - 08:55 am
0
1
Riverman, the ban is on the

Riverman, the ban is on the property. If you choose to kill yourself, that is your choice, but I am glad that I can go there and not have to inhale the second hand smoke you blow out as I'm entering a facility.

As for the corn syrup, corn is used in ethanol, cornmeal, corn eaten in it's natural form (very healthy), and you neglected to mention "other food product" part of that statement. Please educate yourself as to what you do to those around you when you blow out your second hand smoke, I provided you a link.

Riverman1
83899
Points
Riverman1 06/22/11 - 08:59 am
1
0
Momster59, I'm just making a

Momster59, I'm just making a point about personal liberty and government legislation. I'm funnin with ya. You are right about the health problems of smoking. I don't smoke and understand it is terribly bad for your health and a killer. In addition to cancer, about 90% of cardiac patients are smokers.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 06/22/11 - 09:05 am
0
1
Riverman, overall I agree

Riverman, overall I agree with you about personal liberty and don't think smoking should be illegal (nor most "illegal" drugs, imo) even though I don't use them. However, smoker rights should not supersede my right to clean lungs.

seenitB4
87174
Points
seenitB4 06/22/11 - 09:10 am
1
0
river......that cave smoke is

river......that cave smoke is getting to ya big fellow.....lol..(funny)

I'm not a smoker either but there are soooo many things that can be regulated that will make me mad----vodka drinks-sweet milk chocolate--baileys in coffee----don't even think about taking my coffee away!!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 06/22/11 - 09:22 am
0
0
I agree with Riverman. Where

I agree with Riverman. Where do the regulations end?

Will they eventually say that folks with an IQ below 110 cannot drive because they are not smart enough & are a danger to others on the road?

Will they eventually tell us that we are not allowed to eat what we want? (never mind, they are working on that)

Will they tell us what kind of light bulbs we can purchase? (never mind, that ones covered too)

Will they tell us that we cannot wear shorts on public property because it might "offend" some people?

Will they tell us that we cannot carry a cell phone in our pocket at school? (never mind, got that one covered too)

When & where do the nanny state regulations end? Each one seems innocent by itself, but added up they result in socialism and eventually communism. Total government control over everything. No freedom. No independent thought or choice.

I thought Columbia County was better than this and that I chose a more free location. I guess I was wrong.

Ron Cross strikes again. I'm very pleased to see that my commissioner was the lone vote against this freedom trampling effort. Thank you Charles Allen.

urright
465
Points
urright 06/22/11 - 09:31 am
0
0
Don't forget that the coffee

Don't forget that the coffee is delivered with sugar and non-dairy creamer full of trans-fats and oils! They need to put up a sign that says "free death" next to the coffee makers.

Why don't we all start going to county offices and ask for a cup of coffee? I wonder if they'll give it to us?

kareyclark
0
Points
kareyclark 06/22/11 - 10:05 am
0
0
STUPID, STUPID, AS STUPID

STUPID, STUPID, AS STUPID GETS! How come firemen and inmates still can smoke? What is so wrong with still having designated smoking areas? Ron Cross, you are evil!

seenitB4
87174
Points
seenitB4 06/22/11 - 10:10 am
0
0
Will we have to build more

Will we have to build more jails??

smAShT
42
Points
smAShT 06/22/11 - 12:32 pm
0
0
Ron Cross is the same bozo

Ron Cross is the same bozo who is overseeing lakeside getting a "new stadium" even though the one they got is only 17 years old...and now we find out that tax payers are fitting the bill for free coffee for its empolyee??? Glad I moved away from such a place.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 06/22/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
Momster59, got news for ya,

Momster59, got news for ya, just because you can smell something does not mean you are inhaling it.....for instance, you check into a hotel room or get in a cab where someone has smoked and you smell it, does that mean you are inhaling it? Don't think so, smoke evaporates right up into the air...if you walk past someone who is smoking it is less worse than you standing in a parking lot and inhaling car fumes so your lungs are not clean by any means. This second hand smoke thing has gotten so blown out of proportion it is really sickening and the fact the people og so far over board with everything they hear is even worse....watch the back episode of John Stossal Give Me a Break and you might actually learn the real truth about second hand smoke. Funny how people are always so quick to jump on smokers like they are living the good CLEAN life..leave your car or your big SUV parked and start riding a bike, then tell me about what is harmful to you and your lungs.

Sweet son
10398
Points
Sweet son 06/22/11 - 07:09 pm
0
0
I really enjoyed momster and

I really enjoyed momster and Riverman's exchanges. He even admitted that he was just funnin' mom. We need more funnin' and less bickering. It makes me smile in a troubled world. Sweet son

trimmy
29
Points
trimmy 06/22/11 - 07:55 pm
0
0
I have friends and very close
Unpublished

I have friends and very close relatives who smoke, and I love these people. But they get no break from me on the smoking issue. The addiction is truly strong one. Personally I wouldn't care if smoking was banned on earth, permanently. My mother died from cigarette smoking and it was a horrible thing to watch. It's a slow death, with plenty of suffering. I will call you stupid to your face if you smoke. You can call me stupid for eating bbq ribs. But I don't eat two or three racks a day. Rib breath is way better than smoker's breath any day.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 06/22/11 - 09:08 pm
0
0
Pay for your own coffee Ron

Pay for your own coffee Ron Cross!

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 06/22/11 - 09:14 pm
0
0
I don't care if people smoke,

I don't care if people smoke, (although I believe it does cost all of us) I just don't want to be smoked on. And I agree with the perfume rants, double yuck.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 06/22/11 - 09:41 pm
0
0
Wow, Harleyrider has somehow

Wow, Harleyrider has somehow made a link to protecting people who don't smoke from having to endure second hand smoke to Nazi Germany.

And Harley, could you please provide links to CURRENT scientific data? Blogs are opinions and not valid. Your rant seems to be going up in smoke.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 06/22/11 - 11:23 pm
0
0
Let's just go with the

Let's just go with the nastiness of it; that should be easy.

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