Smoking ordinance: 'Big Brother' at his best

Here we go again -- more government intrusion into our lives.

First let me say I am not a smoker and I don't live in a condo or townhouse. But I do object mightily to the Walnut Creek City Council voting to ban smoking in one's own home. This is Big Brother at his best.

Banning smoking in bars, restaurants, commercial and public buildings, etc. makes some sense. But in one's own home? Give me a break.

The council is reacting to a small number of complainers. It's the tyranny of the minority at work here. Only a small amount of smoke, if any, goes from one apartment to another, in my opinion. According to articles I have read, you need to be in close proximity to the smoker to get any negative health impact.

At the very least, current residents who smoke should be exempt from this ordinance. New people moving in can be informed of the law and can decide if they want to stay in WC. But, overall, the ordinance should not be enacted at all.

Onto another subject, that of raising parking fees. The argument that the motivation is to "drive" (pun intended) parkers into garages is specious. It is no such thing. It is simply to raise more money for the city coffers.

As Mayor Pro Tem Kristina Lawson said, "Based on the information we have, we are leaving money on the table." Not for raising money? Ha!


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And the claim the parking money will go "into a fund that is used for downtown enhancements such as the trolley, beautification and future parking facilities" is fallacious. It will be used any way the city sees fit. After all, $5.6 million in parking fees was used to finance the new library.

Well, let's hear it again for our wise city council and two more wonderful decisions.

Ken Hambrick

Walnut Creek