Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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NO SMOKING, PLEASE Because it has become a popular gathering place for homeless people in downtown Sarasota, Selby Public Library also has been the focus of smoking and restroom usage complaints. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAS AUTHORIZED STAFF TO DRAFT AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING SMOKING AT ALL COUNTY LIBRARIES By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Prompted by complaints he has received about smoking outside Selby Public Library, Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta on Oct. 9 made a motion during the board's regular meeting to request staff to work on an ordinance prohibiting smoking at all the county's public libraries. The motion won unanimous support. Noting that he often walks around down- town, Barbetta told his fellow board members during their meeting in Venice, people have been stopping him and complaining about the situation at Selby Library. "'You guys own the library, don't you? How come you let people smoke?'" Barbetta says he is asked. Parents and children trying to enter and exit the library have to put up with smokers out- side the doors, he added. Moreover, Barbetta said, Sarasota Police Department officers had asked him why the county had not honored its commitment to prohibiting smoking outside public places. "It's a serious problem downtown," Barbetta said.

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