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Manteca ponders outlawing smoking in municipal parks

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POSTED August 16, 2013 12:54 a.m.

Smoking in Manteca’s city parks may be outlawed.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is pondering a proposal to ban the smoking of all tobacco products in municipal parks. Such a prohibition would cover all neighborhood parks, the Tidewater Bikeway, the Big League Dreams sports complex, tennis courts, golf course, the skate park, the BMX track, and community parks such as Woodward, Lincoln, and Northgate.

The council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Councilman John Harris said he definitely favors such a move.

And while Manteca is considering following the lead of other California cities, Harris noted there was a time when Manteca was ahead of the curve when it came to anti-smoking efforts.

That was thanks to the late Trena Kelley who championed a successful effort to get Manteca to pass a municipal law making it illegal to place cigarette vending machines where they were accessible by minors. Manteca was the first city in California — and some say the nation — to pass such an ordinance regarding placement of cigarette vending machines.

Kelley ultimately went on to become Manteca’s first directly elected mayor and first woman mayor in 1980.

The ordinance is the outgrowth of citizen complaints about smoking in parks. It is already illegal under state law to smoke within 25 feet of playground equipment.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail

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