And then came “the full-court press,” as Medley Chief of Police Jeanette Said-Jinete was called up to the podium to discuss the past problems the police department had with this issue.
“We had numerous problems with it when we went to different cafeterias, including the enforcement of it,” said Said-Jinete. “A lot of the business owners were honest in that they said it was a way to bring in extra revenue.”
“Why would you bring something back that our police department just had to clean up a few years back?” asked Digiacomo.
Then up stepped Medley citizen Olga Quin to the podium.
“I don’t care if they would only be zoned for commercial use, we have many homes that are right next to businesses and with easy access to our kids,” said Quin, who ran unsuccessfully for a council seat back in November. “Enforcement of this would be nearly impossible and the town simply needs to look the other way on this.”
Even after Pizzi jumped in and suggested that the council could put limitations on locations along with a long series of stipulations, the tide had turned.
Morrow actually spoke up to retract his motion from the floor and soon after Digiacomo made a motion to not approve it on first reading. And it was Morrow who issued the second.
“My wife would kill me when I got home if I helped pass this thing,” he said.
Even Martell, ever the sharp business person he is, could see that not only would there be plenty of citizen resistance but dissent among his own council as well and he changed direction.
“I think we’re starting to see what a problem this could become,” said Martell. “We’re here to do what the people want and it’s apparent that there is not much support for this.”
Roll call was taken and the council voted unanimously to not pass the item on first reading.
“We need to think bigger,” said Councilman Edgar Ayala. “We need to try to attract the Wal-Marts and big businesses.”