It was truly gratifying to see the outpouring of support from the Korean and Chinese business communities yesterday in support of sustaining the mayor's veto of Intro 699, a measure that would make it more onerous to operate a fruit stand in town. The bill was expected to get overridden but was unexpectedly laid over until October 27th. Mr. Sung Soo Kim certainly out did himself with the turnout and now we'll have to wait and see if this is a commutation or simply a two week stay of execution.
Our take on the bill is that it is another example of regulatory overreach. It was a product of Councilmember John Liu's concern about overcrowding on Flushing streets and was transformed into a city wide measure without any real due diligence about its potential harm to some of the city's smallest retailers.
Remember that the Council had a hearing on the bill the morning before a Stated Council meeting and the measure was passed that very day, a highly unusual procedural move that smacked of unfairness. We believe that the bill deserves more time to age and get the kind of in-depth study that the fruit stand operators deserve. Let's hope that Kim and his crew get their due.