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PR- 344-07
September 26, 2007


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The bill before me today is Introductory Number 548-A, sponsored by Council Members Felder, Gentile, Arroyo, Nelson, White, Addabbo, Brewer, Dickens, Fidler, Foster, James, Koppell, Martinez, Mealy, Palma, Recchia, Seabrook, Sears, Vallone, Weprin, Stewart, Vacca, Mark-Viverito, Gonzalez, Gioia, Rivera, Sanders, Barron, Gennaro, Liu, Comrie, Gerson, Yassky, Jackson, Avella, Monserrate, Garodnick, Ignizio, Gallagher, Oddo and the Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum.

"Introductory Number 548-A establishes two one-hour periods - known as routing hours - for issuing certain sanitation violations for residences and increases the types of violations that the Department of Sanitation may only issue during these routing hours.

"It is important to strike a fair balance between enforcing laws designed to keep our neighborhoods clean and the ability of homeowners to keep their property and sidewalk clear from litter and other debris.

"Introductory Number 548-A establishes the Department of Sanitation's two residential enforcement periods as 8 A.M. to 9 A.M. and 6 P.M. to 7 P.M.  Under this legislation, the Department may only issue summonses if residents fail to clean their sidewalks, the areas behind their fence and property lines and eighteen inches into the street from the curb in front of their premises during these two one-hour periods. 

"In this way, homeowners will be given the opportunity to remove litter and other debris before leaving for work and when arriving home from work before a violation may be issued.  The inclusion of additional violations under the routing hours furthermore allows homeowners to similarly clear trash from the areas around their premises.

"Finally, this legislation should not be viewed as an opportunity to evade responsibility for property maintenance, but rather as a fair chance for homeowners to comply with the laws designed to keep our City clean.  Enforcement will remain an essential tool for the Department of Sanitation to fulfill their core mission to maintain sanitary street and sidewalk cleanliness throughout the City.

"I would like to thank Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty and all the agency staff who worked on this bill.  I would also like to thank the Council for approving this bill."


John Gallagher/Matthew Kelly   (212) 788-2958

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