Dr. Ron Carroll
(The Stokes News) - Another controversial subject on the discussion agenda was Division of Social Services Director Jan Spencer’s request to ban smoking in her building. Carroll stated that this was a taboo issue in Stokes County. Walker’s opinion was that directors of each department have the authority to make the executive decision.
Smith and Lankford both stated that they did not support a smoke-free policy when Stokes County had depended on tobacco for so long. They supported the idea that there should be designated areas where both employees and visitors could smoke.
Carroll disputed the thought that the county’s tobacco heritage should be considered in a decision. He mentioned that slavery and segregation were also part of our heritage but that he couldn’t support them. He agreed with Spencer’s request to make DSS smoke-free. Inman noted that most of the people in the room probably had emotional ties to tobacco, but that secondhand smoke was also an issue for many people. He, like the majority of the commissioners, supported a designated smoking area.
It was decided to put the issue on the action agenda for the next meeting, giving the county’s attorney some time to research smoke-free options.