Apr 15, 2010
L. Brooks blows smoke rings in State of Oakland
Apparently, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s PR agent Bill Mullan has not seen his boss’s name in the paper lately, so the news is all atwitter that Patterson not only will not enforce the popular workplace smoking ban that takes effect in two weeks, he is going to sue the state.
Patterson has made the unfounded claim that the smoking ban is an unfunded mandate, so he will not enforce the hard won smoking ban. That is simply not the case. The enforcement protocol is complaint driven. Local health departments are responsible for inspecting food service establishments to comply with Public Act 188. Most violations would be no more than a bartender or manager asking the person who lit up to simply stop smoking. However, any complaint recorded by the health department would be logged, and a protocol would be followed. If the local department had to go out and investigate any complaint that could not be cleared up by phone, the business would be charged a fee for that investigation. If the bar or restaurant failed to pay, their liquor or food license would be at stake.
That makes it a funded mandate. Even if that were not the case, counties receive state revenue sharing. Not only that, the very function of a health department.
Call the Oakland County Health Department at (248) 858-1280 and tell them to do their job of protecting the public health.
UPDATE: Apparently, the flak Patterson received from the overwhelming number of people who support the workplace smoking ban has led him to backtrack, and he no longer plans to sue to stop the ban, the Detroit Free Press reported shortly after 3 p.m. today. However, he still has no plans to enforce the law and protect the public health.