At long last, Mecklenburg County commissioners will vote on a smoking ban for county and municipal government grounds and a tobacco ban at more than 90 percent of county parks.
The Tuesday vote was delayed several weeks after some mayors of Mecklenburg’s towns accused the board of overreaching.
The ban is likely to be approved, though it’s a scaled-back version of the one proposed in early August by Mecklenburg Health Director Marcus Plescia.
He wanted a smoking ban on all government grounds in the county, and a tobacco ban – including electronic cigarettes – at all parks, greenways and golf courses.
But the ban County Manager Dena Diorio will propose exempts 18 regional parks and county-run golf courses after commissioners heard complaints from residents and from golfers about not being able to smoke in larger parks.
“There are well over 300 parks in Mecklenburg County, so well over 90 percent of the parks will be tobacco-free,” Diorio said.
She said the county understood the “towns’ concerns about autonomy,” but commissioners are also Mecklenburg’s health board who “act for the good health of everyone in the county. This in the county commissioners’ scope of responsibility.”
• The board will hear how prepared the county is in case of an Ebola outbreak.
• County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner will recommend Jan. 1, 2018, for the county’s next revaluation of property, seven years after the troubled 2011 reappraisal that has led to an ongoing review and millions of dollars in refunds.
That will give his office enough time to prepare for a new revaluation, Joyner said in a memo to commissioners. “Knowing the importance of the next reappraisal, I believe that any time frame sooner than January 1, 2018, would jeopardize the success of the reappraisal,” he wrote.
After that, Joyner recommends revaluations be done every four years.