Raymond Community News

Raymond Smoking Ban May Not Be Legal
by Jason Reuter     6-19-2014

In the 2014 town elections the citizens of Raymond voted to implement a smoking ban on town recreational property.

Warrant article 25 was a citizens petition submitted by the Raymond Coaliton for Youth asking for no smoking on the town common and Riverside Park. The article passed 557 yes to 327 no. However, due to legal conflicts the ban may be nothing but a puff of smoke.

The issue is centered on the state law (RSA 155) that only prohibits smoking in enclosed public areas. If Raymond decides to implement a smoking ban in public parks, the action would contradict state law and the town does not have the legal power to do so.

Other media have reported that Pelham had to rescind a smoking ban after two week after implementing it.

“Without the legislative support to enact the ban, we could not enforce it,” said Pelham Selectman Robert Haverty.

Due to the conflict with state law, the smoking ban passed by the Pelham Board of Selectman was not legitimate, meaning it could not be enforced by law enforcement.

“It’s a standard of law,” said Attorney Paul Sanders for the New Hampshire Municipal Association “One body of law always supersedes another. For example, federal law will always trump state law.”

During their meeting on June 16, the Raymond Board of Selectmen discussed ways to appeal or work around the state law. Town Manager Craig Wheeler wanted to research whether the citizen petition requesting the smoking ban in parks would help the town pass the ban. Sanders did not think it would.

Raymond could also decide to follow the lead of Derry, and post “no smoking” signs in the parks without issuing a formal smoking ban.

“It’s a suggestion,” said Eric Bodenrander, Director of Derry Parks and Recreation, “The town had a solution so we tried it, and it seems to be working so far.”

A public hearing on the issue will be held on July 7 at 7 p.m. in Torrent Hall to address the issue. The town will be sending out a public notice and reaching out to the originators of the petition, encouraging signers of the petition to attend.




















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