Health Dept. hurting Pittsfield's economy
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the situation with the Pittsfield Health Department. Does it not realize that the city is in an economic crisis and that any business that wants to come here should be considered and not turned away because of a tobacco permit? I realize that they are trying to curb underage smoking and it certainly is toxic to your health, but that doesn't mean chasing business away either. The reality is it won't stop people from smoking. They can just go to another town or get someone else to buy it for them.
The people who bought the area on East Street should have been an exception for a permit. It seems that due to a lack of communication, the city lost out again on new possible connection in the business community. Perhaps if shown some leniency on this matter at some point they would have opened up something bigger. Unfortunately, now it will never be known.
The Health Department in Pittsfield has way too much control over this city. It is costing this city money that it so desperately needs. We have so many other problems here we don't need to add pushing businesses away. We need to let real people on these subcommittees and not people who are looking behind rose-colored glasses.
I really feel with all of these rules it is going to make Pittsfield a less attractive place to businesses, residents and visitors. No one wants to go to multiple stores when they can go to one place to buy what they need. It's all about convenience for people.
If this new requirement goes forward and the age is raised to 21 for the purchase of cigarettes, then at least make an exception with proper ID for the men and women who chose to put their life on the line for their country. If they are old enough to make that type of decision, then they can make the decision to smoke at 18.
We need to take back our city and give the Health Department a lesser role.
Tammy Ives, Pittsfield