On Monday night, Ramapo town hall was filled to capacity for a meeting that never started. As nearly 200 residents crowded into the building to comment on a series of proposed new laws in the village of Airmont, the village board of trustees abruptly announced that the meeting would be rescheduled due to “technical difficulties”. The residents in attendance were displeased with the board’s decision.
“We’re going to vote you out” yelled one resident as the room erupted into outraged shouting, directed primary at Mayor Nathan Bubel, who explained to the crowd, a half an hour after the meeting was scheduled to begin, that because a live-stream of the assembly was not working, the board was obligated to postpone their meeting to a later date.
Residents expressed extreme frustration and apprehension that they would be unable to voice their concerns regarding the “quality of life laws” the trustees were set to discuss. According to the village’s official Facebook page, if passed, these new guidelines would add two hours of “quiet time” to the existing noise ordinance, thus banning yard work between the hours of 8 pm and 10am on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, the new laws would ban the use of power-tools or construction equipment between the hours 8pm and 8am on Saturdays. The proposed noise ordinance also originally included a ban on snowblowers, but was amended by the board before the meeting.
In addition to the new legislation, the board was also set to repeal Section 52-4 of the village code, a law which requires any donations made to a political candidate be made in the donor’s name.
“We had only two days notice about this meeting”, said Bob, a village resident who requested that the Rockland Times withhold his last name from publication
“I work during the week, I should be able to cut my grass on Saturday” continued Bob, who called the boards move to end the meeting “a stall tactic” and remarked that the village was notorious for claiming technical difficulties when not responding to residents. “The village of Airmont did not have phone service for three weeks!,” complained Bob, who like other outraged residents, accused the board of a lack of accountability.
On Tuesday, village officials apologized to residents via Airmont’s Facebook page, stating that the person normally responsible for broadcasting the meeting had called out sick. “Those left to try to handle the audiovisual systems were not able to make it work, as it is not the equipment we are familiar with, and the meeting had to be rescheduled,” explained the post, “we will be informing the public as soon as we set the new date.”