Seasonal Leaf-Blower Ban Up for Repeal Tonight

The ban will be back before Town Meeting, starting at 8 p.m.

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.


How do you want Town Meeting members to vote tonight? Let us know by posting a comment below.

If you would like the results of tonight’s Special Town Meeting immediately emailed to you, sign up for Arlington Patch’s breaking news alerts.


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.

Vince October 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM
But officer I didn't know they were drinking and having an all out bash. I thought they were having an occupy Arlington meeting.
Katelyn October 10, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Regarding leaf blowers, my conscience won't allow me to vote to overturn the ban. I don't think being the "laughing-stock of the country" is an adequate argument, nor do i think it says good things about the direction the Country is headed in regarding the environment. The fact is, we may have already done too much irreversible damage to the planet to save it long term. I think every town in the Country should ban them. When they say what's next? lawn mowers and snow blowers? I'm inclined to say 'sure, ban them too.' We don't have super heroes to fix problems like this, and it's unpopular for politicians to try and tell people not to use things that are heavily pollutant. Especially, when businesses, in this case landscapers, are affected. But the human species needs to adapt to face these things head on and businesses owners need to adapt as well. I know I sound like a crazy, hippie liberal but I just think I am doing the right thing and everybody else would rather do the easy thing and remain ignorant than face the issues. I don't know.. I think people just care about short term money in their pocket than long term betterment of mankind and that's annoying. People need to stand up for the right thing more often, not back down and just sweep things under the rug when the get contentious. The landscapers have money to throw at this and persuade each citizen of their point of view. I don't but I do have moral high ground, conviction and I have a vote tonight.
Tim October 10, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Vince you forgot about the table by the door all set up for Beer Pong that got over looked ....
mike camm October 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I agree, I use to be proud of my town. not anymore. my friends use to say " WoW you live in arlington!" now they just give me that look. if I could only convince my wife to sell the house and move. Woburn, Burlington, Maine :-)
Tim October 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Go For it Katelyn save the world all by yourself . Just remember you can't just pick on the leaf blowers . Lets outlaw school buses because I am tired of smelling the school buses that pick up the Thompson kids in front of my house and the exhaust fumes entertain home and my wife has asthma . Next while we are at let's stop the construction at the Thompson with all those diesel trucks concrete mixers, asphalt equipment , welders all producing toxic combustion lets ban it . Then you should move on to UPS and FedEx trucks those thing are nothing more the pollution producers . I am sure you won't mind Katelyn That the stuff your order online will come by horse . After all you are going to save the world .How about after that the MBTA buses .. You know what Katelyn all this banning of stuff makes me wanna join your cause ..


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