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Sarasota News Leader January 11, 2013 Page 24 bidding smoking on the beaches. Seldom did the City of Sarasota's ordinance prohibiting someone fail to comply with the warning, he outdoor smoking on its property. added. The County Attorney's Office, Reid added, The fee for a citation was $100, Osborne said. had suggested "we watch the outcome of [the city's case] before moving forward with our After hearing the news about the December own ordinance as requested by the BCC." court ruling during the County Commission's regular meeting on Jan. 8, Commissioner Joe THE RULING Barbetta said, "This is really disturbing to me. During the Jan. 8 meeting, Reid distributed I can't believe this is happening …" a memo to the commissioners outlining the The news prompted Commissioner Nora Pat- court decision in the City of Sarasota case. terson to make a motion to seek a change in The judge's Dec. 10 ruling found that "prohibthe Florida State Statute regulating smoking iting the use of tobacco products in non-desto give local governments the ability to ban ignated areas of city parks … is unenforceable smoking in and around publicly owned lands. The motion passed unanimously. The action came almost exactly three months after Barbetta made a motion during a regular meeting on Oct. 9 to request staff to work on an ordinance prohibiting smoking at all the county's public libraries. That motion also passed unanimously. Barbetta said in October that his action had been prompted by the numerous public complaints he had received about smoking outside Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota. He voiced frustration that parents and children entering and leaving the facility had to put up with smokers outside the doors. On top of that, he said, Sarasota Police Department officers had asked him why the county had not honored a commitment it had made to prohibit smoking outside public places. On Dec. 6, County Administrator Randall Reid sent an email to all the commissioners, pointing out that he and staff were awaiting the outcome of a court hearing on the status of Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier addresses the City Commission. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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