Councilman Alex Kuhn would like to see smoking banned in and around the parks of Mason City, Iowa; so much so that he proposed a new law that would make it a misdemeanor to do so. Turns out, other members of the Mason City Parks and Recreation Board don’t agree with Kuhn.
According to the Mason City Globe Gazette, two other council members raised objections to Kuhn’s proposal which would ban the use of tobacco or “nicotine products” including smokeless tobacco within 25 feet of a park, recreation area or children’s play area. Fines would be set at $100 for the first offense, and $250 for a second offense within 12 months and $500 for any additional offenses within a year period.
Councilman Don Nelson called the idea “insane” arguing that it violated peoples rights to smoke. A 2008 law already bans smoking within any buildings located in the city’s park. Kuhn said he expects a vote on the matter next month.
If approved, the measure would not need to be adapted by the City Council, as the Parks Board controls the governing of the parks.
Mason City is located in the northern part of the sate in Cerro Gordo County. It has a population just under 30,000 making it the 16th largest city in Iowa.