GOUVERNEUR A proposed village ordinance that would have required horse owners to diaper their animals appears headed to the compost pile after three trustees said at a public hearing Thursday that they could not support it.
This law basically says no Amish allowed because they will not put diapers on horses, said Marianne H. Fisher, Lisbon. Dont put into place a law that discriminates against one group.
The hearing brought nearly 70 people to the municipal building, including more than two dozen Amish who did not speak but many of whom nodded when asked if they would clean up after their horses if they had a bucket and shovel.
The local law would have required the owners of horses who travel through the village to equip them with a diaper and to clean up any spills. The proposal also required carriages to be equipped with electric front and rear lamps and with an orange triangle as required for slow-moving vehicles. No horses may be left unattended.
The law called for a fine not to exceed $250 or a jail term of up to 15 days, or both.
John T. Pistolesi, himself a horse owner, said the law was shortsighted because the Amish are regular shoppers at village businesses, so anything that keeps them out hurts all. He offered the Casablanca Restaurant and Lounge, his familys business, as a central parking lot for Amish carriages.
Id be more than happy if they want to park anywhere at the Casablanca and Ill shovel it, he said. Id pick it up and put it in my garden.
The overwhelming sentiment of those at the hearing was that the law be scrapped, although several people said the manure problem should be addressed in some manner.
We all know laws go nowhere, Floyd D. McAdam said. We need a little cooperation. I would never do that to somebodys property. It was a consideration thing.
The proposed law was started when Lindsay L. Newvine asked the village board last fall if anything could be done about the manure left by horses tied on her familys property while their owners sold goods on the Dollar General lot.
Theyve never asked permission, she said. All I ask is for a little common courtesy.
Ms. Newvine said she did not ask for a law and hoped to work out an arrangement with the Amish this summer.
After the meeting, one Amish man said he came to hear what the problems were and told Ms. Newvine he thought he was on Dollar General property, where he is allowed to sell.
Diane L. Monroe called the proposal a knee-jerk reaction to an individual complaint.
This is a law we dont need, she said.
Board member Charles W. Newvine said he thought the law could be reworked, but Ronald P. McDougall, R. Nelson Lawrence and Mayor Christopher A. Miller rejected it out of hand. Roger A. LaPierre was absent.
I dont see any way it could be written where I would find it acceptable, Mr. McDougall said.