March 3, 2011
By Mark Mulholland
WNYT News Channel 13

GRANVILLE – With a few swings of a sledgehammer, the village of Granville has a new law.

As the signs being pounded into the ground Tuesday afternoon say, it’s now illegal to smoke on village grounds, including parks, playgrounds, museums and outside village hall, even in your car.

The mayor says the village offers a lot of outdoor events and smoke was casting a cloud over them. People were having trouble enjoying the free outdoor concerts in Veteran’s Park because others were smoking.

“Last summer, some folks came to me and said, ‘Mayor, there’s people smoking near us, we’re reluctant to ask anybody to move,'” says Jay Niles, village mayor.

So the village board worked with the Southern Adirondack Tobacco-Free Coalition and adopted a law that makes smoking on village grounds illegal.

“We didn’t want to consider smoking areas. We wanted to say either we’re going to be smoke-free or we’re not.”

Mayor Niles says village police will warn smokers at first, but second-time offenders could be fined a hundred bucks.

As she walked and smoked a cigarette in Granville Tuesday afternoon, Brenda Loveland says laws restricting smokers are going too far. “We work for a living, we buy our own cigarettes. It ain’t like the state’s buying them for us. It’s our money we’re wasting. So be a little lenient on us.”

Mayor Niles expected the new law to be put to the test Tuesday night when village court is in session. He says it’s common for court attendees to smoke outside village hall.