What is another way to spell the word hypocrisy:

“Grand Rapids City Commission”!

We all know that many politicians are complete hypocrites and for people like myself that is very upsetting.  Upsetting because hypocrites are like liars you can never trust them thus you can never work with them in an honest way.  We need to be able to trust that elected leaders are working on behalf of all of their constituents not just their supporters.

MLive is reporting on yet another glaring example of hypocrisy by the Grand Rapids City Commission.  The city commission just approved a ban on smoking and vaping in all of their public parks except for…wait for it…wait for it:

Their own city-owned golf course.

The ban passed by a 6-1 and goes into effect on January 1, 2021. This ban will also “forbid disposing of tobacco products and waste like cigarette butts on sidewalks, grass and other areas not designated a tobacco product disposal receptacle”.

The one no vote came from Commissioner Jon O’Connor who took exception to the amendment added the night of the vote to exempt the city-owned Indian Trails Golf Course.  He stated the following:

“So basically what we’re saying is if I have enough money to go golfing at a golf course that’s barely fiscally-sustainable, that’s cool, I can have a cigar or cigarette. But if I’m one of our homeless folks living down at Pekich Park or at Heartside Park, I can’t smoke there anymore?”

How did one commissioner who voted yes respond to that very reasonable thought?  Commissioner Senita Lenear who introduced the amendment said:

“We’re not going to entertain that sarcastic remark with a response”

What is so sarcastic about that or does she simply not have the answer so she attacked her fellow commissioner?

Commissioner O’Conner’s response to her elitist response was:

“That’s not sarcastic, that’s the truth…Have we driven by either of these parks? We can’t control people from urinating in parks at this point, but we’re going to go ahead and say we’re going to stop them from smoking?”

Why are they not answering the very reasonable question?

Why can someone who does not have much money or do not golf, not be able to smoke in the city parks they go to but people with money and who golf can smoke in the city-owned park/golf course they go to?

Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said the city was “by no means” making “enforcement of the ban a high enforcement priority or effort to criminalize smoking”.  He went on to say:

“Our approach is to begin with education as a way of compliance and ensuring wellness”

No worries users of tobacco, apparently “Park Ambassadors” not police will be the ones enforcing this new ordinance and amendment.

“Park Ambassadors”, what are those, and how much do they get paid via taxpayer funds?

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