Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shawnee Smoking Task Force

Last night the City Council voted to have the mayor appoint a task force to review smoking ordinances. At the end of its review the task force will naturally have recommendations for the city council.

Mayor Jeff Meyers has a monumental task before him. Can he truly create a well balanced task force? A balance between residents and business owners. A balance between advocates of restrictive ordinances and advocates for less intrusion of government into everyday living.

Two members of the council (Mickey Sandifer and Michelle Distler) have repeatedly stated what this is really about. It is NOT about smoking vs. non-smoking. It is, as they have said, about the erosion of individual rights. It is about government telling folks how to run their business.

As individual rights are slowly taken away, the question that must be asked is: What next?
Folks are so concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke, maybe they need to look at other causes of respiratory problems. Prior to the meeting last night I did a quick count of the vehicles in the parking lot. I counted 24 cars and 27 SUVs/pick-ups. Maybe Shawnee needs to restrict the number of SUVs that can be owned in the city. You know, those gas guzzling, emission belching monstrosities. For the health and welfare of the citizens of Shawnee maybe the government needs to intrude and control tighter what kind of vehicle you can own.

Whaddya think?