The pre-council meeting this week lasted a bit longer and included a bit more interesting debate than we anticipated. In particular, at the beginning of the meeting, Mike Fodi, owner of Fodi Jewelers, addressed the council about the inherent problems with the proposed “pawn shop ordinance.” Though the ordinance was drafted in order to regulate and limit the business of “seedy” pawn shops (which are popping up in the borough) and protect the victims of theft and fraud, the actual effect, according to Mr. Fodi, would be the opposite; the business of legitimate jewelers would be negatively effected while seedy pawn shops would flourish.
The proposed ordinance as it currently stands requires a 45 day hold on all precious metals (jewelry) before a shop could resell them. If this ordinance were to be enacted, Mr Fodi effectively argued that it would drastically restrict his ability to maintain his jewelry business due to the daily fluctuations of the precious metal market. Additionally, if this ordinance is enacted, thieves looking to make a quick buck by pawning stolen jewelry would likely just sell their stolen goods in neighboring communities where the restrictions are not as stiff; thus the victims would be less likely to win a case against those who steal from them. Mr. Fodi recommended a compromise plan of photographing suspected stolen precious metals for the purposes of evidence in a police investigation with a far less restrictive time line for reselling precious metals in order to protect the jewelry business.
Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jane Braunlich seemed more interested in protecting her ordinance and argued with Mr. Fodi about the profit margins of the jewelry business before she was finally forced to return the proposed ordinance to committee for further discussion. We encourage you to take time to view the footage of the pre-council meeting for yourself below and leave your thoughts on the pawn shop ordinance and the rest of matters discussed below!