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Stamford reps fail to uphold law to preserve loose-leaf pickup

December 4, 2018

STAMFORD - The Board of Representatives Monday night failed to overturn Mayor David Martin’s veto of an ordinance that was amended to protect loose-leaf pickup in the future.

Overriding a mayor’s veto requires that 27 of the 40 members support it. But the motion to override got only 25 votes.

Rep. J.R. McMullen, R-18, who helped write the amendment, said it could mean the city is headed for another battle of bagged leaves vs. loose leaves next year.

“We could have this whole fight all over again,” McMullen said. “We amended the ordinance to preserve loose-leaf pickup going forward.”

The original ordinance requires that the city collect leaves each fall, without specifying a method. The amendment would have allowed residents the option of piling loose leaves at the edge of their property or bagging them.

Residents balked when Martin in September ordered that leaves be bagged, saying it would cost them much more time and money, and would eliminate a decades-old city service.

Martin said he had to save money after the board in May made a last-minute, $1.4 million cut to his requested budget increase. Martin said bagged-leaf pickup would cost at least $227,000 less, with the added bonus of helping the city comply with state regulations requiring that leaves be kept out of storm drains to prevent nitrogen and phosphorous from harming Long Island Sound.

acarella@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2296.

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