Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mayor Confused About Parks Cigarette Smoking Enforcement

Cigarette butts pile up on the beach at Coney Island.
Cigarette butts pile up on the beach at Coney Island. Mayor Bloomberg made some more head-scratching comments, this time regarding the enforcement of a new law prohibiting smoking in city parks. (Photo: Costanza for NY Daily News)


A confused Mayor Bloomberg on Friday said that the police will not be enforcing the new law prohibiting smoking in city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas which was overwhelmingly passed by the City Council last week according to The Huffington Post.

"The police will not be enforcing this. That's not going to be their job. This is going to be enforced by public pressure," the Mayor said.

The Bizarre exchange happened on his WOR-AM radio show on Friday morning. "Mainly it's just everybody's going to turn to you and say, 'Hey, you shouldn't be smoking,' Bloomberg said. "And you know, most people listen to that."

Bloomberg also incorrectly told his radio audience the smoking ban idea came from the City Council in the first place when the ban was first proposed by his health commissioner, Thomas Farley, in September 2009 according to the New York Daily News.

"I probably wouldn't have thought about it if it wasn't for the public going to the City Council and the City Council coming to us," Bloomberg said.

The Mayor also seemed confused about existence and jurisdiction of the Parks Department's Park Enforcement Patrol, "On the beaches there's some Parks Department people" to make New Yorkers comply with the new law, Bloomberg said. PEP have jurisdiction over all parks property, not just beaches.

With PEP stretched dangerously thin the issue of tackling more responsibility has not gone unnoticed in their ranks.

"So basically the law will only be enforced in contract parks," a PEP Officer said referring to the deal the city has made to supply officers to a handful of public parks in wealthy neighborhoods.

"That will never happen. The well connected will complain to the Mayor's friends and that will be be the end of it. That's how it goes. "

Bloomberg's latest head-scratching comments came two days after he insulted the Irish for being "inebriated" on St. Patrick's Day. (While also managing to insult his Jewish neighbors at the same time. Bloomberg made the comments at the American Irish Historical Society on Wednesday night when he he said he was used to seeing “people that are totally inebriated hanging out the window” at the society.

“I know, that’s a stereotype of the Irish, ” Mr. Bloomberg added, “but nevertheless, we Jews from around the corner think this.” (The society’s headquarters on Fifth Aveune and 80th Street is around the corner from the mayor’s town house.)

– Geoffrey Croft

Read More:
The Huffington Post - February 11, 2011 - By Simon McCormack

New York Daily News - February 12, 2011 - By Adam Lisberg

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