Town Meeting members will be asked tonight to repeal the seasonal ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, which they passed in May.
Tonight’s Special Town Meeting, which starts at 8 p.m., had to be called by the Board of Selectmen after Stephen Harrington, a Town Meeting member from Precinct 13, submitted a petition, with more than 200 signatures from registered voters, asking for the ban to be reconsidered.
Selectmen voted “no action” on Harrington’s article. However, Harrington recently submitted a substitute motion (attached), putting the repeal back on the table tonight.
Before Harrington’s substitute motion is addressed, Town Meeting members will be asked by Selectmen to form a new leaf-blower committee, which would be tasked with crafting a leaf-blower compromise, with seasonal restrictions instead of an outright ban, for the regular Town Meeting next spring.
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Tonight’s Special Town Meeting represents the second attempt to repeal the controversial ban, which prohibits the use of the leaf blowers on private property from May 15 to Oct. 15. A group of landscapers in May to force a Special Election. At the Special Election, on July 19, opponents of the ban won the vote by a 2-to-1 margin, but fell 241 “No” votes shy of repealing the ban, as state law required them to get at least 5,780 “No” votes, which represented 20 percent of Arlington’s 28,898 registered voters.
The outcome of tonight’s vote will be determined by a simple majority.
The seasonal ban has yet to take effect, as it’s pending the approval of the state attorney general’s office.