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IOP Special Council Meeting, December 10, 2019, 5:30 pm

December 10, 2019

This is the hardest vote I’ve had during my 8 years on council. I’ve opposed it for multiple reasons for many months. #1) We already have a littering law that is very hard to enforce. #2) We along with Charleston County are implementing an all plastics ban as of January 1, 2020. #3) I didn’t see the need for yet another law that would be hard to enforce. #4) I really don’t want our police on the residential areas of the beach, unless of course, they are called for a real crime or accident. They really need to be up on the streets directing traffic and all the associated problems of day visitors. Same thing applies to our BSO’s “Beach Service Officers”, they have better things to be doing. I can hear it now, cell phone call after cell phone call to the dispatcher saying someone is smoking. #5) I don’t like seeing our high dollar police vehicles on the salt encrusted beach sand, they shorten the life span of our vehicles due to corrosion. However, having said all of that, we have been leaders in the protection of our environment. The first to ban single use plastics bags and the harm they do to both our wildlife and marine-life getting tangled up in them and of course, eating them, either as bags or later, as they break down into micro-plastics. I personally adamantly opposed offshore drilling, and the devastating effects it would have on our coast. It was not a matter of if a spill would occur, but when. Do I think a cigarette ban is going to solve the problem of beach litter, no. I am not a smoker, never have been, and hate to be around smoking. However, this is more about education. We need to really push public education through all channels of the media, both print and social. However, I decided at last month’s council meeting to support it, because, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect our beaches and our environment, even if it means passing another law. Thank you for allowing me to serve you on council. I will not say anyone who votes against this is wrong, because I agree with them. At the same time, I agree with those opposing cigarettes on the beach because of the litter and the harmful effects on our environment.

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