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For eight months the citizens of Niagara County belabored over the issue of a countywide smoking ban. It seemed as though the debate would never end. But thanks to the efforts of several legislators, a rational, common-sense proposal was put forth and unanimously adopted -- The "Red Light, Green Light" proposal.

This ordinance gave everybody what they wanted. Through a simple policy of communication and responsibility, people would not have to subject themselves to an environment they find distasteful. And all business owners would retain the right to run their businesses the way they saw fit.

These efforts, however, were not good enough for our Board of Health. These unelected individuals discounted our opinions and even the Niagara County Legislature's recently passed law and simply passed its own law. How convenient.

The long and arduous process our county went through to get the "Red Light, Green Light" solution was a victory for democracy and Niagara County. Our legislators should not sit still while the Board of Health steals their authority. Do we want to be governed by the County Legislature or by the Board of Health?

Jeannette Mattice North Tonawanda

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