Updated 12/20/2010 11:07 PM
Bloomberg Holds Off Signing Sidewalk ATM Bill
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delayed signing a bill that would have increased fines on illegal sidewalk automated teller machines.
Members of the newly formed New York City ATM Association joined small business owners at City Hall Monday to voice their concerns over the proposed law.
They say the fines, which would have jumped to as high as $5,000, would cost thousands of jobs and hurt Hispanic communities.
The group also said there are not a lot of other options to get access to cash in some neighborhoods.
Bloomberg vowed to review the issue and make a decision right after Christmas.
"I don't want to be the Grinch that stole Christmas, on the other hand, the city has requirements and one of the issues here is the ability to pass on the sidewalk and these units tend to be right in the middle of the sidewalk and there are plenty of people who don't like them the same way there are plenty of people that do like them," said the mayor. "I am particularly concerned about jobs in this city, particularly with small businesses."
"Him doing that, I think it's improper. Those machines out here, a lot of people use them, sometimes at nighttime. If he wants us to clean them out, or whatever, we could do that. But I don't feel he should take them out, put it this way," said one business owner.
Opponents of the sidewalk ATMs say they are safety threats and decrease the quality of life.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says even if the mayor does veto the bill, her members will override it.
If passed, in addition to the fines, the city would be able to seize the ATMs.