A proposed smoking ban at the Vaux condominium at 372 Central Park West has divided residents to such a degree that the New York Peace Institute, a group devoted to mediation and conflict resolution, was tapped to help negotiate at an upcoming informational meeting.
But after learning that the Peace Institute planned to attend the meeting, Audrey Silk, founder of the non-profit NYC C.L.A.S.H., or Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, cried foul, according to the New York Observer.
“What exactly will you be ‘mediating’?” Silk wrote. “The board has denied numerous requests by these owners to add balance to this meeting by allowing them to having [sic] their own speaker–a fair pro and con debate so that the ensuing legally mandated vote by all owners can be reasonably said to be legitimate.”
Currently, speakers from both the Coalition for a Smoke Free City and the Department of Public Health have been lined up for the March 4 meeting, but condo owners with a laissez-faire attitude toward smoke have been allowed no representation.
“No other invitations will be extended by the Board to any other group,” Linda LeShanna, president of the Board of Managers at the Vaux, wrote. The Peace Institute decided ultimately that it would not attend the meeting.
Silk told the Observer that she is so indignant because of the board’s stubborn and nonsensical position, saying that being afraid of getting cancer from second hand smoke is “like worrying that the sun reflected off your neighbor’s house is going to come through your window and give you cancer. Now we’re getting into fantasy land.” [NYO] –Christopher Cameron