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Ossining 'Reluctantly' Adopts Pawn Shop Law

OSSINING, N.Y. – A law that will allow pawnbrokers in Ossining passed 4-1 Tuesday night despite reservations by the Board of Trustees .

Board members say the vote would have gone differently if they felt they had a choice. The board of trustees heard from concerned residents previously about the measure. Board members noted their dissatisfaction with the proposal at a recent public hearing . Each board member repeated that dissatisfaction Tuesday night.

“I want to repeat that is not a subject we care to include into the Village of Ossining ,” Mayor William Hanauer said. “But it is required of us, and we have here an excellent law. Although the subject of it is regrettable, the passing of an excellent law is not.”

Deputy Mayor John Codman said: “The troubling part of this is we have a state-mandated regulation here that says we have to license these businesses here. We  don’t have any choice.”

Corporation Counsel Lori Lee Dickson, who helped draft the law, said a business interested in opening a pawnshop approached the board in November. Dickson said a state statute requires businesses looking to obtain a “Collateral Loan Broker” license to obtain one from the local licensing authority, and because no applicable law was on the books, one needed to be drafted.

“This is the same applicant that has an application in Port Chester,” Dickson said, noting that any pawn shop would also need to meet planning board approval before a business could open. “We’ve used the high-visibility commercial and business districts along the Route 9 corridor as a check on where the pawn shops and collateral loan brokers will be located.”

Deputy Mayor John Codman said he would be “reluctantly” and “regrettably” voting in favor of the law despite his apprehension.

“The troubling part of this is we have a state-mandated regulation here that says we have to license these businesses here,” said Codman. “We don’t have any choice.”

Trustee Manuel Quezada agreed that the law was well-written.

“But it’s mandated to us and we just have to regulate,” Quezada said.

Trustee Marlene Cheatham later added that the board would be passing the law “with a heavy heart.”

Trustee Bob Daraio, who cast the sole dissenting vote, said he was doing so symbolically.

“I think it is a crime that the state can mandate that we have to allow a business we don’t want,” Daraio said. “I do appreciate the hard work that everybody did, but in all conscience I will be casting the no vote that represents the no vote I’m sure everybody wishes they could cast. Somebody must, because this is not okay and this is not okay with anyone on this board.”

Resident Kirstin Reynolds said she hoped the village would do what it takes to oppose the business.

“Obviously we all have great concern about the pawnshop coming to Ossining,” Reynolds told the board before its decision. “I’m just hoping that the village does whatever it can to keep out the pawn shop.”

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