With a resolution to regulate residential bamboo usage heading for probable defeat Tuesday by the Huntington Town Board, the item was pulled from the agenda by Councilwoman , the sponsor of the legislation.
Seemingly surprised and obviously agitated after other board members questioned her proposal —namely Eugene Cook — Berland pulled the item and accused Cook of miscommunication.
"I will pull the resolution so that it doesn't go down on a vote," said Berland. "I will give my colleagues the opportunity to talk with me as they said they would."
Cook said he had a problem with the way the law was written up. Berland said if Cook or Councilman had a problem with her resolution they should have offered an amendment or some suggestions.
"I find this a little interesting," said Berland. "I knew where Councilman [Mark] Cuthberston was coming from because he made it very clear, but I've had zero discussion with Councilman Cook or Councilman Mayoka and their position on this."
If approved, the local law would have made it illegal for Huntington property owners and tenants to allow bamboo to migrate onto adjourning properties. Fines ranged from $300 to $5,000 for second and third offenses, according to the resolution.
Cook said he favored bamboo regulation, but it needed to be define better in the resolution. An appointment with the councilwoman to discuss the bamboo issue was set but never met, according to Cook.
Following the verbal exchange between Berland and Cook, one resident stormed out of the chamber in tears. "You don't know what I've been through," said a distraught female. "My town has let me down tremendously."
A public hearing was held at in March where both for and against the possible bamboo regulations.
Since February, Cuthbertson has stated publicly he would not vote in favor of Berland's resolution. After voting in February on the possible bamboo regulation, the councilman acknowledged Tuesday that it's a serious issue but he still opposes restrictions.
"I still don't believe it's an area in which we as a government should go," said Cuthbertson on Tuesday.
Mayoka said he agreed with Cuthbertson and suggested a review committee be formed to help residents in the fight against bamboo.
Supervisor seconded Berland's resolution Tuesday before it was pulled.
Berland said she found the actions of the board "disappointing" for town residents who testified in recent months and cared about the bamboo issue.