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      Wampsville Mayor opposes expanded smoking ban calling it a â??government intrusionâ??

      Madison County is moving ahead with an expanded ban on smoking, even after receiving a scathing letter from the Village of Wampsville accusing the county of stepping on individual rights and freedoms.

      The county's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to set a public hearing for September 11th on an ordinance that bans smoking from "property owned or leased by the County."

      The supervisors agreed to eliminate the provision that would ban smoking from Madison County parks and forest lands, but it would prohibit smokers from lighting up on all other county property including the parking lots and plaza at the Madison County Office Building, Courthouse, and Jail.

      Board Chairman, John Becker told reporters, "If we can help a few people quit cigarettes, it will be more healthy for them, more healthy for their families. It's something that's positive."

      The Village of Wampsville has come out in opposition to the proposed law. Since the Madison County office complex is located within Wampsville, the Village board was upset at the prospect of having to clean cigarette butts off sidewalks from smokers who were shooed away from county property.

      The letter the Village sent to the Board of Supervisors goes much further. It states, "The secondary smoke that individuals endure by outside smoking is insignificant and perhaps unmeasurable. This legislation is another form of government intrusion into the rights of others and their quality of life."

      The letter goes on to say: "It is a slippery slope that legislators take when they regulate individual's rights and freedoms. At what point do we say enough is enough... The public good created by this ban is smoke and mirrors nothing more."

      Wampsville Mayor Sandra Eaton told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "It's time that legislation start backing off a little bit. Now its tobacco, they're talking about taxing soda, taxing candy. It's time that government start backing off a little bit. We're losing a lot of our personal rights."

      Eaton pointed out that she's not a smoker.

      Read Mayor Eaton's letter.