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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Although a smoking ban in Wrightsville Beach was snuffed out a month ago, the fight is not over yet.

Supporters of the ban say they are sick of butts on the beach, so they found a loophole in town law to revive their cause.

The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen voted 3-2 to deny a smoking ban at the beach, but the group in support of that ban says they’re not giving up, and they say they have a number of people on their side. Supporters of the ban found a section in the town’s charter that lets them petition the board to put the ban in place or put the issue up for a public referendum.

“We believe in what we’re doing,” said Aaron Richardet, who supports the ban. “We’ve got enough people that want this, and it takes the power away from the governing body of the board and puts it back into the town’s hands and lets the people, the voters decide if they truly want it or not.”

It’s the same process opponents to a tax-funded ballpark are using to petition the City of Wilmington. Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington are two of just 12 municipalities in the state with the petition provision. The anti-smoking group needs 211 signatures, that’s 35 percent of the voter turnout in last year’s town election, and they say they have more than they need.

“I think it’s like anything else, if you ask once and you don’t get it, you have to keep asking and you have to keep pushing,” Richardet said. “It’s like the old saying, ‘If it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth having.'”

The New Hanover County Board of Elections says the signatures on the petition have not yet been verified, but if the town does decide to move forward with the verification, that could take up to ten days. Then the Board of Aldermen have another 20 days to decide if they will put the ban into place or if they’ll leave it up to a vote of the public.

We tried to talk to the three aldermen who voted against the ban last month. None of them have return our calls.

The Board of Aldermen meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Comment on this Story

  1. Das Weibstück

    Ban alcohol too ya Nazis!

  2. Guest314

    Is it not already banned?

  3. Guest smoker

    Unfortunately there are a lot of POS smokers that litter everywhere they go. Just take a look at the ground outside your window next time you stop at a traffic light. If they can’t manage their selves, the get put in a time out. I would have to say the brought it on themselves. So open wide and maybe we would use your big mouth for an ashtray.

  4. OtherGuest

    I wish there was a better way of saying it, but these jerks will be successful.

    What a world we live in!

  5. cintrek

    I praise you for pushing for it. Most smokers feel tossing a butt isn’t litter, happens every moment of every day. I’ve been to some gulfcoast beaches in Florida that are smoke free-love it!!! It’s so beautiful & nice to walk the beaches & not see cig butts littering the shore/water. The residents get out & help to educate the public regarding no smoking plus signs are up. They do provide smoking areas off the beach. But you still have some who will continue to light up & don’t care about trashing the beach. Siesta Key, FL is the #1 beach in the nation, no smoking & it hasn’t stopped the tourists coming in by the 1000s.

  6. Beach Bum

    So, by their reasoning and logic, the town of Wrightsville Beach should disolve their government and turn over the governing responsibilities to “the people.”

    It only makes sense. I mean, after all, since the duely qualified personnel that are governing the city can not seem to do it as effectively as “the people” can, then maybe they should turn the reigns over to “the people.”

    If you ban cigarettes, then you are going to have to ban, cars, bicycles, dogs, cats, seagulls, whales, boats, fishing, walking on sidewalks, have grass cut to a certain height, have kids under the age of 16 on a leash, kids over the age of 16 constantly supervised by an adult, elderly people supervised and monitored, ban sunglasses, ban sun tan lotion, ban walking on the beaches because you are disturbing the sand.

    See how asinine this is? Do not ask for my tax dollars to renourish your beach you wankers. Your beach erodes, you deal with it.

  7. Das Weibstück

    But people still drink.

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