Even though the Village of Mamaroneck Board of trustees plans to pass a plastic bag ban, over Mayor Norman Rosenblum’s objections to the measure as currently proposed, putting him at loggerheads with the Committee on the Environment, which stands behind the proposed ordinance as it is written.
And so the matter remained open and will likely be tackled at the next board work session. The board had intended to take up the issue in more detail at last week’s session, but with only four board members present, the issue did not get addressed.
Trustee Toni Pergola Ryan said that even though the board could legally vote on the measure at Monday evening’s meeting—with Trustee John Hofstetter lending his support for a vote that night—she said the issue would be deferred until at least the next scheduled board meeting on June 25.
The mayor’s concerns center on the exemption for non-profit entities, which he called “arbitrary and capricious” and could spur challenges to the law. He also considered the strictures against recyclable paper bags—which would still be allowed under the new law—to be punitive.
The proposed law allows for the use of paper bags that: (1) Contain no old growth fiber; (2) Are 100 percent recyclable overall and contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content and (3) Display the words "Reusable" and "Recyclable" on the outside of the bag.
Such a consideration would have an undue economic impact on the “when you qualify the type of paper bag,” he said, noting that there are other stores in the area where customers can use any bag they like, including plastic.
Despite the protacted decision making on the plastic bag ban, the board did pass a new ordinance allowing residents to use credit cards to pay for a raft of village fees, including the (excluding property taxes), the , the , and the .
Clerk-Treasurer Agostino Fusco said that residents had been clamoring for the ability to pay with credit, but that the village had resisted, in part, due to the 2.95 percent that the village and other merchants have to pay to the credit card companies, along with a one-time upgrade of village computers that would cost $1,700 along with $300 annual maintenance.
The village will seek to either raise fees to offset the added cost or use the state law’s mechanism to collect the charges from individuals who use a credit card.
The board also debated whether to continue allowing dogs in village parks from 6-8 a.m. Trustee Sid Albert related his encounters with unleashed dogs in the park and his observation of an abundance of dog waste, which, coupled with goose excrement, made for a messy situation.
Board members resigned themselves to the fact that the onus for keeping the parks clean rests on dog owners and that the enforcement mechanism is ineffective, in part, because police officers aren’t going to patrol the park to catch inconsiderate dog owners and, even if they did, they'd have to catch the dog and owner in the act.
As they discussed the issue, the board began conversing amongst themselves and eventually decided to hold the issue over to another meeting.