Petition asks for smoke free parks in Silver Creek

SILVER CREEK – Nine months with no action taken has not stopped resident Melissa Shaw from pursuing smoke free parks in Silver Creek.

Shaw approached the board last September about the issue and in October attended the meeting with Laurie Adams of the Tri-County Tobacco Free Program. Since then no action has been taken; however, Trustee Ben Peters has been tasked with looking into the matter and reporting back to the board.

For the past month, Shaw and her husband have been attending public meetings and events throughout the community and have asked residents to sign a petition to make the village parks smoke free.

Shaw said she collected 230 signatures and also started an online petition which garnered another 104 signatures from those who live, work or spend time or money in Silver Creek. The petition can be viewed at www.change.org/petitions/village-of-silver-creek-children-and-secondhand-smoke-don-t-mix.

Shaw presented the board with the petitions as well as a letter of support from County Legislator George Borrello and a statement from County Executive Greg Edwards of his intention to make county lands smoke-free later this year.

“This issue was first presented to the board over nine months ago. There has been no action in that time. Summer is here and the park will soon be at peak usage with children off of school, baseball games taking place, the villages summer recreation program, special events like the Laurel Run and the Grape Festival and many visitors and residents enjoying the outdoor activities at the park. Along with the 330 other people who have signed these petitions, I urge the board to act now and enact a smoke free parks policy for the benefit of the entire community,” she said.

She urged the board to contact Adams if they need assistance drafting a smoke free policy, as she has done so for many municipalities in the past.

The board made no comment and took no action at the meeting. Trustee Peters was absent from the meeting.

Erie and Niagara counties as well as state parks have already been made smoke free.

The planning board did not get to discuss the matter at its last meeting and will discuss it in the future. The next village board meeting will be held July 1 at 7 p.m.