2000-01-08 / Front Page

Stabile Closes Out ’99 With A Bang

Councilman Alfonso C. Stabile said good-bye to 1999 with his name on 45 introduced resolutions and 20 introduced local laws. Additionally, of the 80 local laws passed and enacted by the City Council, 10 bear Stabile’s name.

Among the laws Stabile was a prime sponsor of were a local law improving the installation methods and inspection procedures used by the city in regards to sprinkler systems in residential dwellings. The law provides for more thorough and more frequent inspections by the Fire Department and lists the mandatory number of sprinkler heads required in a section of a building depending upon that building’s classification and dimensions.

"Too many times we see tragedies occur where people are killed because of improperly installed or maintained sprinkler systems that could have saved their lives," Stabile said. "Under this new law, there will be more frequent and more specific inspections performed. By also mandating a certain number of sprinkler heads in a hallway or large area, we are hopefully creating a safer environment and a way to help control fires that might quickly spread if sprinkler heads are not present."

Stabile also was a prime sponsor of a law requiring safety-locking devices on all weapons purchased in New York City. Under the law, anyone who is authorized to purchase a firearm must also purchase a safety-locking device at the same time that the weapon is purchased. The locking device may be a trigger lock, or a combination handle, requiring a certain alignment to disengage the lock.

"Too many young children have lost their lives because they found their parents’ gun and, using it as a toy, it has gone off and hit a friend or the child themselves," Stabile said. "This law tells gun owners to take proper precautions or face possible fines and imprisonment. But even those penalties are nothing compared to the pain and suffering that accompany the loss of a child."

Among the local laws Stabile has introduced that await hearings and a Council vote are Intro. 623, which would shift the cost of repairing a sidewalk broken up by tree roots from the homeowner to the city, provided the City Parks Department maintains the tree. The bill currently sits before the City Council Committee on Transportation.

"This bill will save homeowners thousands of dollars that might otherwise be spent on paying for sidewalk repairs needed because a tree planted by the city, maybe even before they moved into the home, has broken up the sidewalk and created a hazardous condition," Stabile said. "This is hardly fair to the homeowner that they have to foot the bill for a tree that is maintained by the city."

Stabile is also a prime sponsor of Intro. 553, which would mandate the Board of Education and both Brooklyn and Queens Public Libraries establish programs to prevent children from accessing pornographic web sites while using the Internet on computers located in schools or libraries.

"While I believe in free speech and the right under the first amendment for these sites to exist on the Internet, I do not believe that facilities for learning should be a possible outlet for these same sites," Stabile said. "These sites are intended to be viewed by adults in the privacy of their own homes, not by children sitting in a classroom or library."

Stabile was the prime sponsor on a number of resolutions in 1999, including resolutions supporting the Congressional Silent Skies Act of 1999 and the state legislation known as the "Bubble Bill." Both resolutions are aimed at eliminating excessive noise and emissions generated by local airports. Other resolutions Stabile was a prime sponsor of included calling upon Congress to pass a Patients’ Bill of Rights, for the United States to end the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and for all operating school buses built without seatbelts to be retrofitted and seatbelts installed.

"The Council took the lead role in many important issues that not only affected our city but our state and country as well," Stabile said. "Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue into the new millennium."

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