Newport City Council considers smoking ban in parks

NEWPORT BEACH — At its Tuesday meeting, the City Council considered banning smoking in public parks.

Smoking is already prohibited on beaches, piers and the boardwalk. In April, the council voted 4-3 in a nonbinding straw poll to approve a smoking ban in parks.

But during the meeting, Mayor Mike Henn suggested the city also ban smoking at the street ends leading up to the Balboa Peninsula boardwalk. Henn lives in a house on the boardwalk, two doors down from a street end.

Councilman Keith Curry said this additional ban could be a "slippery slope." The council, in conjunction with the other park rules, voted to consider the ban at a later meeting.

The council also approved a contract to outsource cleaning services for public restrooms in the city's 26 parks and other facilities.

Irvine-based ABM Janitorial Services will have a $181,256 annual contract to clean and re-stock restrooms. It will take the place of three city staff members, who will be laid off, and other contractors who were previously cleaning the restrooms.

A city staff report said the outsourcing will save $143,000 annually.

The council also voted unanimously to waive the requirement that certified farmers obtain a business license to operate at the city's farmers markets.

—Mike Reicher

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