COMMON SENSE: As the Mayor sees it!

Mayor Bloomberg went too far years ago in his many attempts to create a nanny state within New York City where anything he and his senior advisors found undesirable became subject to a ticket and sizable fine.

His latest attack on individual freedom is a two step process that would allow a ban on smoking in individual apartments if the majority of residents of the building wanted the ban.

First, he proposes the city through legislation put in place a process for buildings to vote. Then he advocates that residents ban smoking for all tenants, with a violation carrying a hefty fine and I assume eventually constituting grounds for eviction.

Of course, a landlord can upon renting an apartment put a non-smoking clause in a lease. That is a simple civil arrangement between a landlord and a tenant. If the agreement is broken, it is enforceable as a civil matter that is between parties. What Mayor Bloomberg is proposing is far more consequential and substantial.

It is a clear case of the majority trampling on the rights of the minority with the city of New York providing the opportunity and method. Government is supposed to be the great equalizer, demanding that the minority be protected from the whims of the majority.

That would be everywhere except in New York City where the mayor has turned the tables on legal activities such as smoking in the name of health, even if, as in this case, the circumstance is highly unlikely to affect anyoneÂ’s well being beyond the person who has chosen to smoke.

I do not smoke. And I certainly accept the argument that in places such as the office and other situations where a non-smoker cannot avoid smoke, a ban makes sense. But to ban smoking within your own apartment, based on a view that smoking presents a danger to dwellers in other apartments. is ridiculous.

I understand that odors do permeate. Sometimes the odors from one apartment do enter into the neighboring apartment. That being said, would he suggest that we ban cooking fish on Friday? He has presented no evidence that second hand smoke that only occurs as an odor through a wall is a danger to the health of the neighboring apartment dweller or, for that matter, anyone else in the building.

Mayor Bloomberg does not like a lot of things. And he really does not want you to like them either. He has had it out for smokers since day one of his administration. Also in the name of health, as he defines and interprets it, he has supported many costly job-killing regulations for business. Sometimes he has been pushed back, but in more cases then not he has won the day with the support of our extreme left-leaning City Council.

As the mayor approaches the final year of his administration, he may very well propose more and more rules and laws designed to imprint his philosophy on our lives with the hope that this be part of his permanent legacy.

New Yorkers must recognize this danger and stand up or find themselves more and more living their lives under the thumb of the city of New York.

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