C’town Trustees Ban Smoking, Vaping on Main Street Sidewalks

C’town Trustees Ban Smoking,
Vaping on Main Street Sidewalks

By Caspar Ewig
Smoking and vaping on Cooperstown’s Main Street business district were banned by the Board of Trustees at a meeting on Monday. (Tara Barnwell/AllOtsego.com)

In a lightly attended Cooperstown Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, October 24, the trustees voted to ban smoking cigarettes and vaping for all tourists and visitors, as well as local residents, while walking on the sidewalks of the business district of Cooperstown’s Main Street.

The 7:30 p.m. public hearing was set to address an amendment to Chapter 233-3 A of the Village Code. The Proposed Local Law 8 of 2022 under consideration reads as follows, with the suggested amendments italicized:

“The following areas owned by the Village are hereby designated as smoke- and vape-free zones: Village Hall and adjoining land at 22 Main Street; Doubleday Field, the Doubleday Field grandstand, bleachers, and other spectator and player areas; sidewalks and adjacent public property on Main Street between Fair Street and Pine Boulevard: and Council Rock, Lakefront Park, Pioneer Park, Badger Park, Three Mile Point Park and Fairy Spring.”

Only two residents in attendance made any comments, one of which was a personal recollection regarding the negative effects of driving through a smoking area in another town. No other statements were made by either residents or trustees that might be said to represent a reasoning for the underlying purpose of, or necessity for, the rule change. Nor was any discussion held on the economic or “positive experience” impact that the law might have on business going forward.

Except for one trustee admitting that there might be a problem of practical enforcement since workers in the business establishments would want a place to smoke, the only lively discussion that took place among the trustees was to determine what areas were encompassed by the proposed amendment.

For example, would the grassy area between the sidewalk and the roadway be considered within the definition, and what constituted “areas of adjacent public property.” Trustee Richard Sternberg short circuited that discussion with a suggestion that the Board pass the resolution despite the open questions subject to subsequent “tweaking” afterward. Or, in the words of another trustee, “Let’s pass it and see where it goes.”

The penalty for violation of the new law would be the issuance of a summons that could result in a fine up to $100.00.

4 thoughts on “C’town Trustees Ban Smoking, Vaping on Main Street Sidewalks

  1. AJay

    What a brilliant idea- Hundreds of out of town tourists coming to enjoy Cooperstown’s tourist sites getting cited by police for breaking the no smoking rule. In the short run, mucho money in fines going to the village. In the long run, fewer tourists spending money here.
    Does anyone ever think through the consequences of the bans?

  2. Lyn Keating

    Well, well, already the problems are starting with the Cooperstown Board’s approval of marijuana dispensaries. What you are actually worried about is the tourists being offended by either the smell of pot or seeing the potheads puffing away in areas frequented by tourists. This is just the beginning of your problems. Wait until the reports start coming in of multiple traffic accidents and overdoses, along with increased visits to Bassett’s Hospital Emergency Room.
    The above mentioned incidents are exactly what happened in Colorado and the residents there are now trying to repeal the pot legislation. As the saying goes, “follow the money and learn who is lining their pockets while changing the character of the town and affecting the safety of its’ residents!!

  3. Jennifer Hill

    Banning smoking and vaping on parts of Main St. does not mean no one can smoke or vape anywhere. It just means people can’t smoke or vape in those areas. It doesn’t mean marijuana can’t be sold via dispensaries if the law permits it or that people who don’t want to be exposed to secondhand smoke and vape are against others smoking and vaping tobacco and marijuana.

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