The Common Council Laws and Rules Committee for the second time rejected a proposal for term limits. I agree with the decision of the committee. Personally, I do not support term limits, except those given by the voters at election time. I also support the constitutional limits of 2 terms for President.
Many people remember a very strong and capable Mayor of Kingston named Frank Koenig. He served 5 times (10 years because the terms were only 2 years long in those days) and was very popular. A very strong majority considers Koenig to have been a good Mayor. If Kingston has a good Mayor, why throw him out because of the number of years he has served. A good Mayor should be kept, while poor Mayors should be voted out.
As for the smoking ban, I must respectfully disagree with the committee. I am not a smoker, but I recognize a smoker's rights. I can understand not permitting smoking near the jungle gym or near children. However, if a person is walking their dog or just taking a stroll in a park and they choose to have a cigarette away from children, what business is it of the city? If they throw their butts on the ground, there are already littering laws.
I am disturbed at the constant erosion of our personal freedoms. I think the Council is overreaching. I urge the Council as a whole to vote this proposal down. I also ask the Council to consider how such a law will be enforced. Are officers to be dispatched to the parks? Are we going to have a cigarette patrol?
This is an unnecessary restriction on smokers and a further regulation without a reasonable method of enforcement. As I have said before, the Council needs to focus on reducing spending, cutting taxes, economic development, jobs, and crime. The banning of cats, yard sales, and cigarettes should not be the focus of this Council.