Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Terms Limits No, but Smoking Ban yes??

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.


Anonymous said...

These same smokers who are slowly, but surely committing suicide, will someday require healthcare that you and I pay for. Then there is the 2nd hand smoke issue which is real, documented and dangerous to non smokers.
To me, playing Russian roulette and smoking are the same thing. Both will kill you, you just don't know when. We, as a society wouldn't let people do that in a public place even though guns are legal and the only person the participants are hurting is themselves.
Discouraging or restricting smoking in public is a good move. We count of the Government to make places safe for everyone. If the activities (smoking) of someone else are endangering my or my families health (which it is), it should be forbidden. We have rights too.

Anonymous said...

I think that term limits SHOULD be put in place. Thomas Jefferson said that "politicians need changing like diapers, and usually for the same reason". I think Jefferson, as one of founding fathers, knew exactly what he was talking about and it applies here! also, I too am not a smoker and I am insulted, to say the least, when I am at a public place where smoking is occurring. The ban is warranted and i would like to see the council adopt it. This in no way is any disrespect for you Rich, just a difference of opinion.

Anonymous said...

Rich - I hope the GOP pick you as alderman at large - you would be the next Mayor and we wouldn't see a lot of energy wasted fighting Andi. The taxpayer's would lose otherwise and the Dems will keep the sinking ship going down.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

7:49 AM,

Better yet. The GOP could pick Andi for Alderman-at-Large and name me as the candidate for Mayor.

That would be a stronger ticket in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

So another Law on the books that will not be enforced. Just like the graffiti Law. Waht others Laws are not being enforced by this group of Council members. There is a no smoking ban on City property and the hospital employees smoke in front of City Hall all day long, no enforcement by the City.

Anonymous said...

Cuomo and CSEA make a deal to prevent layoffs. The same deal should be made with all UNIONS in the City of Kingsotn. No raises for 3 years, increase in Health Care Contributions etc.. Do exactly what the private sector is doing and if your not performing your job be fired. This has to stop and should be the same in ALL School Districts.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


Here is the difference between us. You want the government to handle the matter by taking away people's rights and liberty.

I do not.

If someone is smoking near me and I find it annoying, I walk away. If it was near my child (assuming I had one), then I would ask the smoker to move.

I would not, however, remedy the situation by having the government take away another person's rights.

Anonymous said...

What about the rights of the non smoker? Why does the non smoker have to accede to rights of the smoker? Especially when the smoker's actions could harm the non smokers health? Why is it OK to conduct activity on public property that can harm others?

Sorry Rick, but I think when the public health and safety are concerned, the government has a duty to step in.

Anonymous said...

Well, the verdict is in on the readers of the daily freeman.....90% of the readers (20,000 readers per day) voted in favor of term limits for elected officials. That is hugely overwhelming and says if it goes to ballot, term limits will come to pass. All respect Rich, but Andi is right on this one.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


With all due respect, a Freeman web poll is anything but accurate. If you remember, there was a poll on a matter involving Congressman Hinchey that was hijacked resulting in 30,000 votes. Obviously, a Freeman internet poll is easily manipulated.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think 90% of the readers actually participated in the poll for term limits? That is ridiculous. Term limits=vote the incumbents out if they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. Turco-Levin should put that idea to sleep once and for all. It's getting old. She'll have to come up with some more creative political posturing that will make her look foolish. Way to go!

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

10:30 AM,

You have the right to not have a smoker blow smoke at you or in your direction. You have the right to ask that person to move.

BUT -- if the smoker is walking his dog in the park and nobody else is around, why can he not light up?

You do not have to bothered by smoke, but why can the smoker not have a cigarette if he is alone in the park?

Anonymous said...

Rich, I have been thinking about term limits. I have decided that I would vote to implement term limits if put on the ballot for us voters. I would urge you to support term limits as well if you are involved. term limits make sense. I dont want lifetime politicos in place, and it gives others a chance to play an active role in local government. That is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

What happens when a smoker nearby refuses to extinguish his smoking material or leave the area? Why should you be forced to give up your space and move(freedom) to accommodate the smoker?

Argument goes both ways. The smoker contributes less to the environment and health care issues.
And if the smoker drops his butts on the ground near you and there is a litter law..than what do you do?

A lot of individuals are reluctant to approach strangers concerning their misbehavior. In today's world it can sometimes be dangerous with unbalanced peeople walking amoung society.