MAYOR MARVIN’S COLUMN: Annual Fall Ritual By MARY C. MARVIN

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Marvin_Mayor Mary-in whiteIt is that time of year
again when we begin fall leaf collection and again ask residents to mulch the
leaves in place on lawns.  The annual
fall ritual of disposing leaves curbside is actually wasteful, expensive and
unnecessary.


 

Leaf pick-up costs
regularly top $100K per season and that does not include the additional cost of
repairing clogged drains as rainstorms send the leaves directly into our storm
sewer system.

Mulching in place will
also greatly eliminate the need for leaf blowers which may be used again in the
Village starting on October 1st
 Leaf blowers not only generate
significant noise and particulate matter, but the power of the engine at 150
mph – 200 mph is akin to a jet plane and will systematically remove layers of
soil leaving yards pristine but extremely unhealthy. 

If you choose not to
participate in the mulch in place initiative, leaves must remain at curb’s edge
but on private property so our vacuum track can easily collect them.  Yard waste such as branches and shrub
trimmings cannot be comingled with the leaves as they will clog the leaf
truck.  They should be placed curbside in
biodegradable bags.

One of the Village’s
newest initiatives for fall is our “Salute to Seniors Day”, a joint tribute recognizing
the loyalty and contributions that our senior citizens make to the Village on a
daily basis.  The Bronxville Senior
Citizens organization, Gramatan Village, Village government and the Chamber of
Commerce have collaborated to honor our seniors on September 28th
with a ceremony at 9AM at Village Hall followed by a day of activities and
“Senior Specials” throughout our business district.  This formal thank you is long overdue and
hopefully will become a yearly event.

The fall also signals the
return of all the children to our Village for school and play.  In order to increase the safety of all those
now walking about the Village, our Village-wide speed limit is 30 mph, the
lowest allowed by New York State.   The
only exemption is the 20 mph permitted in marked school zones.  Any further speed reduction requires New York
State legislation which must be predicated on documented evidence of accident
rates, speeding data and traffic volume, something the Village cannot
demonstrate.

In addition, the Village
cannot install “Children at Play” or “Slow Children” signs because State and
Federal standards reject their use as they openly suggest that playing in the
street is acceptable and give children a false sense of security.  On the other hand, signs that alert drivers
to playgrounds are encouraged because the parks are often located in places
where a reasonable driver would not expect a large group of children.  Sagamore Park is a prime example. 

In the same vein of
safety concerns, bicycles may only be ridden on Village sidewalks if the rider
is under 11 years of age.  No one is
allowed to ride bicycles or skate boards on the sidewalks in our two Village
business districts.

In addition, per New York
State Law, when a pedestrian is in any of the Village’s crosswalks, cars must
yield in both directions.  However, when
crossing in mid-street, pedestrians must yield the right of way to all vehicles
on the roadway.

The Village is also very
concerned about the safety of our teenagers in all aspects of their lives.  They bring great joy to the Village with all
their academic, musical, dramatic and athletic talents.

Unfortunately, as in many
other communities, Bronxville is experiencing an earlier on set of teenage
drinking, and laws relating to underage drinking in Westchester County are
strict and punitive.

For example, Westchester
County has a “Social Host Law” that states in essence, that any adult that
becomes aware that minors  are drinking
on their premises and fails to take action can be punished by fine or imprisonment.  In addition, if someone who drank on your
property subsequently injures someone while drinking, civil and criminal
liabilities can attach.

Bronxville, like most
communities, also has an “Open Container Law”, with violators subject to fines
and community service.  However, in
addition, under the State’s Beverage Control Law, there is no requirement that
the container be open or even physically in one’s hand.  As a consequence, everyone under the age of
21 who is at a party or in a car where alcohol is present can be deemed
violating the law.  This is a classic
example of guilt by association.

It is also important to
note that New York State has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under 21
impaired by alcohol.  Any level of
impairment subjects the driver to a formal DMV hearing and possible license
revocation.

Please know that our
Police Department can be a valuable resource to any child or parent.   Officers frequently conduct round table
discussions with families when any kind of substance abuse is suspected.  Our youth officers have special training and
are extremely qualified to assist families in any way.

Mary C. Marvin is the mayor of
the Village of
Bronxville, New York. If you have a suggestion or comment, consider directing your
perspective by directing email to
mayor@vobny.com.

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Hezi ArisMAYOR MARVIN’S COLUMN: Annual Fall Ritual By MARY C. MARVIN

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