An amendment that would ban smoking at municipal buildings in East Brunswick will be reworked again after some council members requested that the language in the amendment be tightened up.
At Monday's meeting, the council was to cast a final vote on an amendment to regulations that govern smoking on township property, following a public hearing.
Under the proposed amendment, smoking would be banned at municipal buildings in East Brunswick. It is already banned at East Brunswick parks and schools.
Council president James Wendell asked for an update on the wording of the ordinance, which included a reference to smoking being banned on all "public land."
At the Feb. 4 council meeting, council member Nancy Pinkin asked if the usage of the term "public land" would extend to township owned streets.
Council attorney Daniel Zwillenberg said the amendment would not extend to streets and highways governed by the township and would apply to township-owned open space and municipal facilities.
Pinkin said that Zwillenberg's explanation was simple enough that it warranted being included in the amendment, to avoid confusion.
Council president James Wendell said that there is a concern that the ordinance being unclear could result in "frivolous lawsuits" against the town.
Council member Michael Hughes said that lawsuits could not just be filed against the town over the wording of the ordinance.
"I can't arbitrarily sue the township, I need to get ticketed first," he said. "We're not trying to make money off smokers, we're trying to make the front of the (municipal) building cleaner."
A centralized smoking area would be provided for muncipal employees, should the amended ordinance pass, said township administrator James White.
Councilwoman Camille Ferraro, Pinkin and Wendell all voted in favor of changing the language to the amendment, and Hughes voted no.
The ordinance will be re-advertised and given another public hearing at a future council meeting before being voted on.