By Beth Vought
Ord. No. 18-009 (adopted on 2018-05-14) Link to the full ordinance by clicking on Ord #
In July 2015, Port Huron City Council established a policy discouraging smokers from lighting up at area parks and beaches. It seems like that policy, despite posted signs in the area, has been ignored; at least by those not choosing to honor the informal request. The early season volunteer cleanup of our beaches has removed thousands of butts each of the years the no smoking signs have been displayed. Only smokers would leave those in the area, so the city now feels they need to take steps to strengthen the policy. If the expense of posting signage has done no good, which it clearly hasn’t, it seems stronger steps are the only way of changing the status quo. It has been reported that injuries have been sustained due to smoker’s negligence. Like the child who stepped on a still hot hookah discard – sustaining painful burns.
The parks and beaches are public domains, however operated by the municipality they are located in and must be mindful of the safety of ALL. If you consider the amount of money devoted to upkeep on our area parks and beaches and how many people use these areas; we must do all we can regarding safety – most especially for children. The majority of people would agree that it is unconscionable to ever harm a child, purposely or not. Let’s give our citizens and visitors safe and clean beaches and parks to remember our Blue Water area with. If you don’t think we have enough visitors to our beaches – drive down Gratiot Avenue on a weekend in the 90 degree heat. Won’t you be surprised when you can’t drive past Lakeside Beach for the cars lined up trying to get in.
As of May 15, 2018 – Port Huron City Council has decided to add No Tobacco use in public Parks and Beaches to our City Ordinances. That would allow law enforcement personnel or a parks worker to ask those disobeying the ban to leave the park or Police to write tickets for violators, police even have the authority to close a park for non compliance with the law. No tobacco includes traditional cigarettes-including marijuana- electronic smoking devices and hookahs from use in any city park, beach, playground, tennis court, community center or athletic complex owned by the city. Anyone refusing to comply can go through steps of increasingly serious consequences. This article began with the link to the city’s new ordinance with the exact wording of the new law, so please click on this link to read the legal terms for compliance to this change in local law. Memorial weekend is here, so it’s now officially beach going season. For anyone using our local public beaches- this is information you need to know!
Resources for article include : Public comment (written or recorded) by Parks and Rec Director Nancy Winzer
Jackie Smith, Times Herald
Editorial Board, Times Herald
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As a longtime school secretary for Port Huron Schools, Beth Vought is no stranger to writing. Now retired, she’s excited to start this new creative writing endeavor. She has lived in the Blue Water area her entire life and has over thirty years’ experience sewing, crafting, along with other handy work. Beth has three grown children, two current fur babies and been married 35+ years. No grandchildren yet, but she did help deliver a litter of five puppies where she says, “Once was enough!”
Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.