Clallam County: Courthouse smokers will be prohibited from puffing at entrance


by Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

Clallam County employees will be allowed to smoke in their cars in the courthouse parking lot, but no longer will they be able to puff near the building's entrance.

County Commissioners Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, and Mike Chapman, R-Port Angeles, agreed Monday that the main goal of a new no-smoking ordinance was to keep smokers away from the courthouse's main entrance off East Fourth Street.

The commissioners, with Mike Doherty absent, discussed the latest ordinance revisions at a work session Monday with Joanne Dille, county health administrator, Rachel Anderson, county tobacco prevention specialist, Florence Bucierka, a planner in county Human Services, and Dr. Tom Locke, county health officer.

The commissioners are expected to give the ordinance final approval next Tuesday at their weekly action meeting.

Burning issues

Still unresolved are the issues of where the smoke-ban boundary would extend around the courthouse and whether it could include public sidewalks.

``We would be challenged by some people out there, so we better know where the property line is,'' said County Administrator Dan Engelbertson, who questioned whether the Clallam Transit System bus stop shelter in front of the courthouse was inside the boundary.

Chapman, a member of the transit board, urged county health officials to discuss the issue with transit officials.

County leaders have expressed concerns about whether the bus shelter, which smokers sometimes use, is on county property.

Dille said signs will be posted at the courthouse driveways, warning visitors about the smoking ban.

Smoking at county parks and on Olympic Discovery Trail would still be allowed under the proposed ordinance.

``We felt that would be impossible to control,'' Dille said of the trail.



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