Pitchers on the mound with a mouth full of chaw are a thing of the past on the baseball fields at Taylor Park in Bloomingdale. City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to ban smoking Lady, chewing tobacco and dipping snuff in the city’s two public parks, which are Taylor Park and the Bloomingdale Community Center, except in designated areas. The law took effect immediately.
Council members said they don’t plan to put a smoking area at Taylor Park but will install one at the community center, where smoking is prohibited both on the playground and under the pavilion.
Councilwoman Barbara Griffin said she brought the proposal to council after seeing and smelling people light up in Taylor Park’s bleachers. She said she didn’t think there was room for tobacco use in a park where kids play.
“We’re doing this for the health of the children and their protection,” Griffin said.
Bloomingdale resident Bobby Thompson questioned the council’s decision to divorce tobacco use from baseball.
“I’d like to know what you are going to do with that kid who chews and has tobacco in their back pocket,” Thompson asked during the meeting.
That kid won’t be playing ball at Taylor Park, council members replied.
The new law doesn’t include a fine for dipping or lighting up. It simply prohibits it.
Bloomingdale Police Chief Thomas Gossett said he doesn’t have the manpower to have officers patrol the city’s parks for smokers. That will be up to parks and recreation staff, he said, although officers will respond if anyone refuses to follow the law.
Council had considered doing away with smoking at the community center entirely but decided against it because they rent out the pavilion to private parties for events.