Letter: Village blowing off its own policy?

To the Editor,
My husband has phoned the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department on several occasions regarding the illegal use of leaf blowers in our neighborhood. He reported a violation at one property on multiple occasions. He has also spoken directly to yard workers and has ascertained that some know about the ordinance and others do not. Among those who are aware of the ordinance, they often say, “We will be gone in a few minutes.” They know it is illegal, but they do not expect to be cited.

Leaf blowers are very noisy; it is inconceivable that the police do not hear them. The leaf blower ordinance is a noise abatement code, the intent of which is to promote a good quality of life. It is unfortunate that the police do not enforce this law. They would not even need to witness a violation to issue a citation. If they were to spot a leaf blower on the ground and it was still hot to the touch, it would indicate a violation had occurred.

The person who should be held responsible and cited is the property owner, or his agent, the property manager, for the following reasons:

The person operating the leaf blower is likely to be a day worker or minimum wage employee who is following the directions of his onsite supervisor or the business owner. Since the worker’s job would be at risk if they disobeyed instructions, these persons should not be held liable for violations.

It is likely that the business owner resides outside the village. As a result, determining the identity of the business owner and collecting a fine could be futile. My husband has attempted to contact a few of the yard maintenance businesses by calling the phone numbers painted on the trucks, looking them up in telephone directories or searching for them online. Some phone numbers do not work, some businesses are not listed in the phone book and some cannot be found online. Even if the village were able to locate business owners, how would they collect fines? Court action is not a practical option.

Barbara Rhoades,
Mamaroneck