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Monday, May 2, 2016

In rare move, mayor vetoes semi-trailer ordinance

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An ordinance aimed at regulating the parking of semi-trailers on Brazil streets sparked an extended discussion among city council members before passing by a 3-1 vote March 14.

But Mayor Tom Arthur still has unanswered questions.

Arthur vetoed Ordinance 6-2006 Friday, adding yet another wrinkle to the debate over appropriate length and width limits for trailers parked in the city. Council members can override Arthur's veto with a two-thirds vote when the council convenes March 28.

The ordinance restricts the parking of "semi-trailers, pole trailers, utility trailers, or any other trailer that is in excess of 20 feet in length and is the type of trailer that has wheels only at the rear" in residential zones in Brazil.

In a letter sent to council members, the mayor recognized the need for the legislation but criticized the language of the ordinance as too broad.

"I respect and support the intentions of the Common Council in restricting the parking of semi-trailers on city streets," he said. "However, I do not support the current ordinance in its present form."

Arthur said his research has revealed flaws in the ordinance. The 20-foot length limit specified in 6-2006, amended from 25 feet in an earlier session, could "capture a lot more trailers than were originally proposed," he said.

The March 28 session will mark the fourth time the issue has appeared on the council's agenda. Councilman James Sheese, who voted in support of the ordinance March 14, indicated Arthur should have aired his concerns before the bill was passed.

"It looks to me like if there was something wrong with the ordinance in the first place, something would have been done to it before it got to us," he said.

Councilmen Marty Beasley, the only council member to vote against the bill, and Bill Lovett, who abstained from the vote, both indicated further research is necessary before an acceptable version of the ordinance can be drafted.

Arthur predicted an amended version of the ordinance would come before the council over the next few sessions.

"We're just going to work on cleaning the language up. I don't think it's a dead issue yet," he said.

The decision marks the first case in which Arthur has exercised his veto power.

"It's fairly rare," the mayor said.

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