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Bamboo Item Pulled From Town Board Agenda, Tempers Flare [VIDEO]

Town Board members spar as angry resident storms out of Town Hall.

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.

Bamboozled July 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM
This is based on loose rhetoric and not fact. Sand, why don't you post some pics of how the spikes have hurt anyone including pucking against the lining of your pool. the spike are generally very sofy when they first appear above grade. if stepped on they will die and not grow back. That being said, the rhizome will eventually die for if has no way to live without sun!
Bamboozled July 17, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Awesome JPC! . . . . the world is just getting too lazy and not to mention ignorant!!!!
Bamboozled July 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM
And let us not forget, all the time that the TOH puts into this, the more public monies are wasted. Gene Cook would like to do an audit of the town and its servants, this would be something I would audit to see how much time has been put into this effort, that really resolves nothing but adds anger between the public and our town. Not to mention the issue this will create between neighbors in dispute!
kim July 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM
"I still don't believe it's an area in which we as a government should go," said Cuthbertson. AGREE.
kim July 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Sand, what if your neighbor has a forest of trees, every year at least 2 trees fall causing damage to your property. Than that neighbor should be held liable for damage as well? What about invasive Ivy too?

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