County to propose new smoking ordinance

Tillamook County is set to have a potential change to its already existing public smoking ordinance, which has been in place since 2000.

By Brian Cameron

Tillamook County Commissioner Bill Baertlein has spearheaded the proposed ordinance in an attempt to update existing county smoking ordinances to be more in line with the modern view of tobacco use and the workplace.  The revisions would negate and replace the former Ordinance #58 which was known as the Smoking Pollution Control and Tobacco Regulation Ordinance which enacted a first-time legal stipulation to the smoking of cigarettes and the usage of tobacco products in Tillamook County businesses, county facilities and areas prone to having children present.
“This ordinance change will act as an update to existing county and state policy,” said Baertlein. “It will ban smoking on all county lands, no matter what.”
According to the previous ordinance set forth 17 years ago, the ban applied to all areas open to the public including bars, restaurants, elevators, restrooms, retail store, taxis, sports arenas, polling places, common areas, etc… but since the passing of that regulatory proceeding the State of Oregon has adopted its Indoor Clean Air Act which takes many, if not most, of those provisions on a statewide basis.  The ordinance wasn’t so clear in regards to property and facilities owned by the County specifically.
Presently the proposed ordinance (#82) will do away with many of the definitions now covered under the state law and primarily focus on county owned facilities and grounds including areas within the interior of any county building or structure, any county grounds or facility, any county parking property, in any county owned vehicle or private vehicles while on county property.  In addition, any person within 10 feet of the following is prohibited from smoking, vaping or using aerosol based devices near: entrances, exits, open windows or ventilation intakes that serve county owned buildings and facilities.
The ordinance will be enforced by the Tillamook County Sheriff’s office or Tillamook County code enforcement as well as carry a maximum penalty of $2,000 in fines and a Class A violation.
There will be two separate meetings that will be open to the public and if it goes through will get passed on around Mar. 15.  Currently the ordinance is considered in the public record and concerned parties or individuals should make sure and check the time and date of the public meetings.
Additionally, Commissioner Baertlein also stated his full support for the ordinance.
“I fully support this policy with some minor tweaking,” he said. “But also I cannot speak for the other commissioners so I do not know how it will play out.”