Smoking and sidewalks have existed in Concord for hundreds of years but today there is change in the air.
The City Council has voted to ban smoking in front of the Concord Public Library. The stated reason is that apparently parents are complaining that their children have to endure drifting smoke as they head into the front door. I think this is just another erosion of individual rights and how the wealthy residents living in the glass towers always know what is best for society and more specifically, themselves.
Of course there is more cigarette smoke in front of the Concord Public Library and the reason is because there are more people. There are more homeless people, more unemployed people and more people given early parole from the NH State Prison. And I can see the complainers now, driving in with their shiny new Volvos and Lexus seeing the unwashed and unshaven in front of the public building: “just make them go away.”
Smoking is the habit everyone loves to hate especially the health and societal conscious yuppies that seemingly find their way onto every board and commission that makes policy decisions for others including the Concord City Council. The state does it as well, tax the cigarettes, restrict the cigarettes and of course pass more laws, and don’t address the underlying problem just make the “problem go away.”
At the same meeting the city council allowed the sale of the former Concord Tannery area to move forward by sale to a Vermont developer for the sum of $338,000.00. Instead of sidewalk preservation if smoking is such an issue why couldn’t the city council plan and fund from the $338,000.00 a ‘designated smoking area’ and perhaps landscape some of the area around the library which would solve the immediate issue in addition to enhancement of a public library that needs some enhancement. Beyond this the city council could work on the issues that are causing this in the first place: unemployment, homelessness and societal issues. This would be leadership.
I’m confident none of this will happen. For the yuppies it will be business as usual. They’ll drive around in their nice cars, have meetings and conceptual ideas with their friends and pass more rules making life easier for themselves and harder for others. The divide between the haves and the have nots.
Sidewalk preservation at its finest.