Bloomberg Mulls Over ATM Bill
December 20th, 2010
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is mulling over whether to sign a bill that would drastically increase fines for property owners with illegal sidewalk ATMs after small business owners expressed concern over the bill’s impact this afternoon.
According to a spokesperson, the mayor will take the next couple of days to consider the bill and announce his decision after Christmas.
“I donít want to be the Grinch that stole Christmas,” the mayor said today. “On the other hand the city has requirements, where one of the issues here is the ability to pass on the sidewalk.”
Up until this morning, the mayor was expected to sign the measure, which the council approved earlier this month. At today’s bill signing, small business owners reportedly said the legislation would limit access to cash for neighborhoods without banks and hurt small businesses.
Under the current version of the bill, fines could increase from $250 to $5,000. These ATMs are already illegal, but there is barely any enforcement or regulation of them, council officials said.
If the mayor vetoes the measure, Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the council would move to override it.
“This will give the power for them to be taken off the street,” said Quinn. “It actually gives the city the power and the tools to make this illegal behavior end. That’s a good thing.”
Here is the mayor’s statement this morning courtesy of the City Hall press office:
By Courtney Gross on December 20, 2010, 2:49 pm
I have enormous respect for both Councilwoman Reyna and Fernando Mateo, who Iíve known for a long time. Iím not sure that Iíve been convinced to go one way or another, but I will tell you I will take a few days to talk to some people. I had discussed this bill last week, and Iím not so sure that I got as comprehensive a review, although Iím not so sure that I didnít. There are two sides to everything. But I will take a few days to think about it. I donít want to be the Grinch that stole Christmas. On the other hand the City has requirements, where one of the issues here is the ability to pass on the sidewalk. These units tend to be right in the middle of the sidewalk, and there are plenty of people who donít like them the same way there are plenty of people that do like them. I am particularly concerned about jobs in this city, particularly with small businesses. This country does not have enough jobs. New York City has created a disproportionate share of the private sector jobs, yet we still have plenty of people who are unemployed. And some of the things we have to do donít encourage employment. In fact, they may be detrimental to employment, but the City needs to do to them regardless. So let me leave this, and I will probably by the beginning of next week after Christmas -Ė not an accident -Ė I will make a decision one way or another. But I wouldnít want either side to get their hopes up. I really am, at this point, torn in two different directions. Maybe we can negotiate something that better addresses the concerns. On the other hand, as I will say, that I have enormous respect for the Councilwoman and her judgment, as well as for Fernando. The other speakers, other than Joseph, I donít know.
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