E-cig policy part of update to Mohave County smoking rules

Supervisors to look at 'smoke-free' facilities

Courtesy

Courtesy

KINGMAN - Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson said he doesn't care what people are smoking - as long as it's not in a county building.

That includes electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, which emit a vapor, not smoke.

Johnson said someone was smoking a pipe in a Lake Havasu City courtroom and county employees have complained about people coming in with e-cigarettes and blowing smoke in their faces.

Mohave County's no-smoking policy prohibits the smoking of tobacco products within 20 feet of public buildings, but leaves a loophole for chewing tobacco, nicotine gum and e-cigarettes.

"They can say they're smoking apple peels or peaches. I don't care what they're smoking, as long it's not affecting our people," Johnson said at Monday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board voted 3-1 to come up with an all-inclusive policy regarding "smoke-free" facilities, with Supervisor Steven Moss opposed to the motion. Chairwoman Hildy Angius was absent.

Moss said he sees e-cigarettes much like nicotine gum - as a way to beat addiction.

"I will confess some ambivalence to e-cigarettes," he said. "I'm not necessarily in favor of prohibiting e-cigarettes. However, there has to be decorum."

County administrator Michael Hendrix asked the board to come up with an "all-inclusive" smoke-free policy, with a goal of placing all new procedures in one personnel policy document.

Water attorney

In other action, the board unanimously approved a motion to hire legal counsel to represent Mohave County regarding water issues in the Hualapai Valley and other areas of the county for not more than $10,000.

Johnson pulled the item from the consent agenda for discussion because he had not received backup information.

Hendrix explained that the county was unable to retain counsel as directed by the board on July 24. Nick Hont of Development Services contacted additional law firms and was successful in contracting with one firm, but didn't gather information for backup in time for the meeting.

Motorized vehicle ban

Another consent item pulled for discussion was the placement of signs prohibiting motorized vehicles in several washes in the Meadview area.

Public Works Director Steve Latoski said the frequency of off-road and all-terrain vehicles using washes near residential streets has "risen to the level of public nuisance." One step to mitigating that nuisance is the placement of "No Motorized Vehicles" signs.

"I own land out there," Johnson said. "Are you telling me I can't run through my wash? Thanks for putting the sign up."

Supervisor Jean Bishop, whose district includes Meadview, said the particular area in question has a new "fitness trail" with exercise spots and benches. The problem, she said, is motorized vehicles "racing up and down the banks and destroying the beauty of the fitness park."

The motion carried 4-0.

Water export tax

The board voted 4-0 to approve a motion by Supervisor Moss to establish an ordinance imposing an excise tax on the export of water from Mohave County. Moss said the issue was brought to his attention during a meeting in Phoenix as a potential method for "readjusting the scales."

"It has nothing to do with people using water in Mohave County," he said. "It has everything to do with people drilling for water to take out of Mohave County."

Moss said he's hoping Arizona's political delegates in Washington will make sure that the "wheels of justice turn in such a way to give us a seat at the table."