Friday, December 27

To the New Year

As I recapture some time and energy from the hustle and bustle of holidays, I always become somewhat reflective at the turn of the year.  Who doesn't!! 2013 was an amazing year for me personally in so many paths and directions.   But here in my antiques hat I just want to share how blessed I feel to still be operating my own business after 35 years and adding thousands of new friends all along this journey!  Did you ever stop and ponder just how far your own little action travels?  Even when you seemingly reach an end, there is still movement of the earth, wind and water flows! I just love the endless connections!

Photo by Sara Dellaquila
Thank you for being part of my path!  My warmest, deepest wishes to all who have visited my shops and blog for an amazing New Year!  May yours be full of wonderment, adventure and joy! 

Wednesday, December 11

Monroe County Law Passage

Monroe County Local Law Entitled:  Regulating Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers and Jewelry and Coin Exchange Dealers passed the legislature with a unanimous vote on Dec 10.  The pretext of the law states that it "will curtail the distribution and facilitate the recovery of stolen property in Monroe County"  and "is necessary for the protection of the citizens of Monroe County".   This law will do no such thing.  Big government excessive over-reach and red tape has shown it's hand again.

My antiques business is exempt from the law, so why bother with this?  Plain and simple:  I believe that any new law should be clear, understandable, straight forward, focused and formulated to resolve it's intended purpose.  Anything less than that is an travesty to the process of democracy and the rights of citizens of Monroe County.

To suggest that we now have a law that will curtail the distribution of stolen goods is absurd.  Think like a thief for just a minute.  Just exactly where might you go to unload something you stole? A shop that will document you and take your picture?  NO.  Online auction? That is probably a great guess.  The public open air markets for selling? Maybe. Seasonal yard sale?  Maybe.   A fence who has the next level up for easy distribution? Probably.  A storefront that is not required to document you?  Sure, why not!

The North American Industry Classification System NAICS establishes a way to classify business establishments. These are the federal guidelines by which all US businesses file their appropriate registrations and tax certifications under.  The definitions of the county law do not subscribe to the federal NAICS codes.  The terms in the new county law continually refer to secondhand dealers as if this covers all operations.  That is confusing.  Also, there is no such entity as a Jewelry and Coin Exchange Dealer.

By the very nature of exempting so many outlets in this new law, the intent of it is reduced to lucky at best.  And yet, the law will be promoted as a solution to finding stolen property.  It is false hope.  We could have been pro-active instead.  Our county would do a much better service by creating a system of responsive, direct, and easy access of communication between police agencies and shop owners.  For a shop owner to know what kinds of items are reported stolen recently is valuable information.  Any person who might walk into their shop would be immediately suspect and a quick phone call could alert police.

It will be interesting to see how this new law is implemented when it becomes effective in 2014.  I strongly suspect the Sheriff Dept. will require additional funds for help with the licensing requirement procedures and the establishment and maintenance of it's data base system.  Policing this new law will be monumental.   For small business owners who must obtain licenses, simply meeting the requirements will likely force some businesses to close.   I really can't fathom that the unanimous vote for this bill suggests that legislators truly think they have helped solve crime in the county.   They only changed the game parameters.

Sunday, December 8

Monroe County Secondhand Dealers Law Draft

Earlier this year I wrote about the draft proposal that Monroe County Legislature is considering in regards to licenses, buying operations and record keeping requirements for Regulating Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers and Jewelry and Coin Exchange Dealers.   Please see my post here: Letter to Monroe County

There will be a public hearing on December 10 to comment on the revisions made to this proposal.  There is some speculation that a vote could take place.
This is Not a Good Law Proposal!  Read the full text here

Please consider attending the hearing at Monroe County Legislative Chambers in the County Office Building in Rochester NY at 6pm.  If you are interested in speaking, please call 753-1950 (Clerk's Office) stating that you'd like to say a few words regarding the 2nd-Hand Dealer's Law.

Thursday, December 5

coming soon!

Got to diggin' in the lace box again and pulled a few goodies to get listed.  I'm not really sure what it is, but every time I have a table of lace next to me it makes me feel all cozy and warm!  Hankie is being listed today - other pieces coming soon :)
post script 12/8 - they are all listed .... and more!  See Anothertimeantiques 

Friday, November 22

Small Business Giants!

Saturday, 11/30, is dedicated to small business owners around the country.  Nice.  But what does that really mean?  I've worked as a sole proprietress for over 35 years and it boggles me that this "small business" has survived at all!   Here's a few of the things I've come to know and I bet I'm not alone:

♥ you've gotta be nuts to start- or so full of passion you just can't resist
♥ you will work with a load you never thought you could possibly carry - and yet you do
♥ if you work from home, you have the best CEO PJ wardrobe on earth
♥ your hat rack includes at least 10 caps to survive, 20 to really thrive
♥ the office fairy rarely shows up to clean
♥ if you have family - you know they come first - even when they don't think they do
♥ a buying trip or show trip can be the best vacation ever
♥ the gal Friday rarely shows up for the bookkeeping
♥ the process of mental creativity knows no time clock
♥ you probably never thought you'd become a professional photographer
♥ you laugh when the business surveys ask how many employees the business has and start with 1--4
♥ you know more about social networking and marketing than most
♥ the best bottom line for my financial statement is a smile
♥ you will never go hungry because you've learned how to survive
♥ flexibility means more than bending
♥ the cleaning lady is underpaid
♥ friends around the world are as close as a keyboard ~ anytime
♥ small business people always care and support each other.

Yeah - Happy Small Business Day!!

Monday, November 18

What's in a Fabric?

Absolutely everything!

Understanding the nature of the textiles that surround every single aspect of your daily life is truly important in our modern times.  Our antique textiles of Linen (Flax), Cotton, Wool, and Silk seem simple compared to the massive industrialized fiber industry today.   Consumer awareness is crucial to understand the potential chemistry you are rubbing on your skin.

There following is from a great article on EcoWatch
The clothes we wear and the textiles they are made from can damage the environment and make us sick. Good thing there are some eco-friendly alternatives. Check out these seven fabrics, courtesy of Green America

Saturday, November 2

Costume Jewelry Theft

In support of my friends at CJCI - please review this post for details and pictures about the theft of costume jewelry items at the Costume Jewelry Collectors International convention Warwick, Rhode Island (October 25-27 2013).

Tuesday, August 13

Ahhh... Lace

A very long time ago, I started buying laces and doilies because they intrigued me. Starting an antiques business on a shoe string budget meant I had to buy "small things" and often in lots. It was the lace that grabbed my attention and heart! It has been fun digging into some of my storage boxes and re-discovering the treasures I accumulated!  It's so easy to get lost in them :)

 Last week I pulled several items and gave them the gentle cleaning and sunning they deserved. It is so satisfying to see old starched and aged laces come to life again!!

Here is just a sneak peak of what was in just one box.

The lace boxes will take lots of time to work through so I invite you to check in now and then!  This will be a fun, long term project just like the days of accumulating them all.

Friday, August 2

Destash Beads

Working with "little things"and jewelry parts has always intrigued me.  But it's time to get real and let the vast hoard of vintage beads and things loose for others to play with!   I'm stocking up the Fragments store sections in time for holiday gift making and shows.  Here is a quick look at some of the vintage beads listed.

Wednesday, July 31

Oppose Postal Reform Act of 2013

No more Saturday mail delivery. No more door-to-door mail service for millions of Americans. Job Cuts.  New Oversight Committee.  Union busting - that's the gut of what Rep. Issa calls reform!

If you are a small business person, a senior, or someone who is home bound you know the importantance of home delivery of the mail.   Mail at the door is not a luxury - it is a necessity. Rep. Darrell Issa, describes himself as "a fiscal conservative committed firmly to low taxes and free markets" and yet he fails to reveal the real problems facing the USPS:  government mandates for excessive pre-funding of benefits for 75 years!  Ask any local postmaster what he thinks is the biggest problem facing the USPS today.  It is most likely he will address the pre-funding problem!

For Rep Issa to purport to be for free markets, then I believe his efforts should be towards getting Congress out of the business of running this business!  The current Reform Act will not only hurt Americans and small businesses by ending deliveries, it will kill thousands of jobs.

Credo currently has a petition  to express their objection to the Postal Reform Act of 2013.  
The Postal Reform Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa and passed out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, would implement these drastic changes to the postal service, while slashing over 100,000 mail carrier jobs, directly attacking postal employees’ collective-bargaining rights, and creating a new and entirely unnecessary oversight committee.

The postal service doesn’t need new bureaucracy, or even to cut jobs and services. What it needs is an end to the disastrous pre-funding mandate, which requires the postal service to guarantee retiree healthcare and pension benefits for 75 years — something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do.

No more Saturday mail delivery. No more door-to-door mail service for millions of Americans.

Over two-thirds of the postal service’s budget red ink comes from the onerous and ill-considered 2006 law called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which created the pre-funding mandate. 
The PAEA was created by Republicans intent on killing a vital government service for the sake of proving that government can't work. By making the public believe that government services are underfunded and poorly managed, Republicans can force more cuts and eventually privatize services altogether, handing over public goods to private corporations that enrich a select few at the expense of many.

Rep. Issa is now using the USPS budget shortfall that the Republican-sourced PAEA created as a reason to implement changes to the postal service that will make it totally uncompetitive with services like FedEx and UPS.

We can’t let them pass this bill and doom the USPS to a death-spiral that would cut services and create a needless bureaucratic oversight committee at the expense of middle-class jobs.

Both the American Postal Workers Union4 and the National Association of Letter Carriers5 have come out against Rep. Issa’s bill. Now we need to back them up with a resounding call from the grassroots to oppose this bill and end the long-term Republican plan to kill the post office.

Cutting services and jobs can be avoided by making simple and popular reforms to the postal service like those proposed in bills by Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate, and Rep. Peter DeFazio in the House.  Their legislation would end the mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees, while recouping $11 billion the government has overcharged the postal service.7

If Congress can't get its act together and implement necessary and simple reforms to end the pre-funding mandate and allow the USPS to operate without onerous and unnecessary restrictions, the postal service will be forced to continue cutting staff and services. We can’t let that happen.

Click the link to sign the Credo petition: 
Tell Congress: Oppose the Postal Reform Act of 2013.

Monday, May 27

Summer Beaches = Seashells!

Call it the summer itch, but I am fascinated lately with the old seashell jewelry from the 50s and 60s.  Every time I hold a tiny shell in my hand, I can't help but marvel at the long path it has traveled to become a woman's trinket!

Recently I found a super website about seashells that is a fun read and very informative at the same time!  I Love Shelling is a must for your resource list!  Even with all the great pictures I still find it a task to try and name some of the tiny shells found in vintage jewelry!

 I think seashells and the whole craft of seashell art is a sleeper in our vintage business!

Friday, May 24

Researching Francis: fhb

Doing research on a mystery item mark is perhaps one of the most educational processes to engage in in the antiques business!  I am always in awe of how much you can discover with just one little starting point.

Frances Holmes BoothbyFor me, the lastest adventure revolves around a jewelry purchase last year that included a darling little sterling silver pin and drop earrings set.  The only mark is on the circles of the earrings: fhb Sterling. Sterling is also marked on the back of the screw knobs.   The set definitely has that Modernist late 50s vintage appeal.  I decided to see what I could find out.
Well, thanks to the 21st century and internet research capabilities I quickly discovered this mark belongs to Francis Holmes Boothby!  She is a well known and listed Modernist jewelry maker active in the 1950s / 1960s.  Her work pulls designs from nature and includes whimsical birds and owls as well as items using a unique convex elliptical form.    A quick search of "fhb elliptical" using Images on Google will give you more great peeks at her style. 
There is an excellent research article, The Wearable Art Movement Part II , by Marbeth Shon, at Modern   There is a short piece about Francis Homes Boothby confirming her participation in the 3rd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Jewelry at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in 1955.  If you love Modernist jewelry - this is a great article to review!

Although only the earrings are marked in this set, it sure seems that the pin is an unsigned fhb as well.  It is actually very small at only 29mm L x 22mm W.  The ends have her characteristic "flattened" twist changing the form from circle to ellipical.  This wonderful shape is seen in pendant and bracelet designs that she did.  But alas there is not one image on the web to make 100% confirmation --so the mystery still continues.   Is it a one of a kind?  That would be fun. 

Monday, May 20

Vintage Rising Rising!

We're having lots of fun over at The Vintage Village - especially in the group called Vintage Rising!   There are lots of new items being posted and lots of exciting things happening behind the scenes.  Here is our new logo that can now be customized for each of the merchants! This one is for my thread:

We have many members participating in this Emporium venue.  You can buy directly from the thread, contact the sellers and find links to all the different shop sites too.  If you haven't visited our new home yet make sure you stop in soon!

Thursday, May 9

Fun Networking!

Social networking is kind of a buzz word in the small business world these days.  Here is a beautiful example of how networking works among members of the Vintage Fashion Guild and Etsy shop owners!

This little pin is listed in my Etsy shop.  I love mother of pearl items from buttons to jewels.  And of course having Mother written in wire work makes it all the more special!  Pure adorable charm.

Likewise, it caught the eye of my fellow VFG member Liza of Better Dresses Vintage   Liza wrote to me expressing her interest in the photo image and asked my permission to use it.  (Perfect internet etiquette!)    Of course I was tickled, and said yes.

Through the magic of her dabbling and patience, she was able to come up with a beautiful image for her Facebook page!  Now that's what I call Social Networking 101!   Mutual sharing creates wonderful circles.  The best part is that we never really know just how far the circles reach - "it's a mystery"!

Wednesday, April 10

Secondhand Law Tabled!

Monroe County Legislature voted unanimously 27-0 to table the current proposed legislation regarding a local law to regulate pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and jewelry and coin exchange dealers put forth by Representative Carmen Gumina.  Several shop owners and dealers from around the county attended the open public forum to express their various concerns.  Everyone seemed to come to the same conclusion:  the proposal would significantly hurt established businesses and thereby reduce business opportunities for our county.  Creating more problems to try to solve one problem seemed to be the common theme.

What steps will be taken next is unsure.  However, it is very encouraging that the Mr Gumina and the legislature in general listened to the concerns of the business community.

Tuesday, April 9

Letter to Monroe County

The following is the letter I am submitting to our Monroe County Legislature today with my views about many of the problems concerning the proposed local law to regulate Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers and Jewelry and Coin Exchange Dealers. 

Even if you are not a New York State or Monroe County business, you may want to check with your own local bodies as to what, if any, proposals are cropping up.  The concepts have been seen in many states!

April 8, 2013

To The Honorable
Monroe County Legislature
407 County Office Building
Rochester NY 14614

Subject:  A Local Law to regulate Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers and Jewelry and Coin Exchange Dealers

At the end of March I learned about the proposed local law to regulate pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and jewelry and coin exchange dealers in Monroe County.    As a small business secondhand dealer in antiques and collectibles for 35 years, I am deeply concerned about this flawed and unnecessary proposal.

The main premise of the proposal states:
“Law enforcement across our community currently lack a tool that allows them to recover stolen goods that are quickly sold to pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and jewelry and coin exchange dealers.

I respectfully submit the proposed law is based on false premises.  Furthermore it would, in fact, become a severe detriment to the operations of hundreds of small businesses in Monroe County if it were to pass in the current text.  Instead of alleviating any problem of stolen goods, the proposed law will make criminals out of law abiding, honest business people.

Although NY law looks at all merchants of secondhand goods as the same type of operation, they are not.  A pawnshop is an entirely different entity than an antiques shop or co-op.  A jewelry and coin exchange is another entity as well.    To legislate all these different entities under one guideline is akin to making one law that applies equally to a doctor’s office, a nursing home, a general hospital, and a massage therapist office!

Mr. Gumina’s claim that “New York State has failed to address this issue” is not a complete truth.   In 2001 NY State Senate Bill S427 and Assembly Bill A497 argued similar ideas as in the current proposal suggesting that fees, reporting requirements, police notifications, proof of identity, etc. would alleviate the problem of stolen goods.   The measures failed to become state law after all the problems and complications became clear and support dwindled.   The State legislative bodies recognized that stolen property crimes would not be resolved by creating difficult, burdensome, unnecessary regulations and fees on small business owners.   It is the wrong approach.

Section 382-2. Legislative Intent.   Creating a county wide system of licensing and reporting.

The intent of the law is flawed.  What is the evidence for making a claim that monitoring all transactions, requiring massive data filing and licensing requirements will curtail distribution and facilitate recovery of stolen property?   Stolen goods are regularly liquidated through internet sales, physically taken out of the County, or sold on the streets.     The proposal places significant burden on the Sheriff’s Department, local police stations and legitimate business owners.   Financing this operation will be very costly to the County.

Throughout the proposal the language shifts back and forth from “all secondhand articles” to jewelry and precious metal references.  “All secondhand goods” is an extremely large scope and covers any item on earth that is sold! 

Section 382.4. Definitions  

Item G.  defines precious metals to include gold, silver, platinum, copper or coins, utensils or objects containing one or more of those metals.  Electronics and cell phones can contain gold.  Costume jewelry and home decorative items made of copper often have little value.  Are all these included?    The precious metals market fluctuates daily and many commodities are not covered so what is the requirement for these?  The definitions are limited and vague.

Section 382-6. Licensing

1.       A fee of $250, required annually and expires on Dec 31 of each year, is an exorbitant fee! 

2.      The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department does not have the staff and funding to license every secondhand business in Monroe County annually.   I also seriously doubt the Department can license all the required businesses in Monroe County within a reasonable time period so as to not cut business operations in the county.  The County will lose sales tax revenues should businesses cease operations.

3.      The requirements for employee registrations at a Sheriff’s Department are not required of most other businesses in the county or state.  What is the application to an antique co-op?

4.      What is the implication to home-based businesses with regards to Sheriff’s “right to enter upon such premises during normal business hours for the purpose of making inspections”?

5.      What is the intention of requiring the Sheriff’s Department to file and approve licenses when all other business licenses are generally handled through the County Clerk or appropriate State license agency?    Conducting business is generally not the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department.
6.      Why would a Sheriff have a right to deny a business license to someone who wants to establish a new business entity?   Where is the due process of law?

Section 382-6 Licensing
Item I.  “No dealer’s license shall be issued for a period of one year to any applicant that has been found guilty of operating a business without a secondhand dealer’s license”.

If this proposal passed, the sheer volume of existing businesses in Monroe County needing licenses will create a substantial backlog of applications.  Does the county legislature seek to deny business operations to existing businesses while they go through an extended application process time?  This surely is poor government regulation at a time when we are looking for ways to increase jobs and growth in our state.

Item K.  Exemptions
1.      No. 2 – private sales, aka garage sales, yards sales, etc. are an easy way to sell off stolen property!  There is no possible way to monitor such sales without additional legislation.  If that is the intent of this proposal, more must be defined.

2.      Any Jewelry or Coin Exchange Dealer whose annual gross retail sales are comprised of less than 15% Secondhand Articles.   The legal establishment of who is covered under a 15% exclusion is virtually impossible to determine or enforce.  Even Federal and State year-end tax reports would not provide such data.

3.      Dealers in secondhand cars should not be excluded.  Cars are frequently stolen!

Section 382.7 General Operations

The burden of police enforcement and establishing suspected guilt is shifted to the non-professional layperson that operates a store.  This is a dangerous move in any society and not good law.  No one should be placed in the position to “suspect” criminals in the course of ordinary business.  This puts the private citizen in grave jeopardy.   

Furthermore, Item D establishes that if property is deemed to be stolen that the shop owner which purchased the merchandise has no recourse to recover lost monetary expenses.  This appears to be a negation of citizen rights against harm applied.

Section 382.8.  Identification Required   

Item A requires the shop owner to “verify the identity of every person from whom a purchase is made”.  Item D requires a copy or digital photo of the identifications to be maintained by the dealer.    These are impossible tasks to accomplish for the merchant and will be rebuked by most citizens of the county who want to sell their personal goods.     Store owners are not trained identity experts!

No provision is given for purchasing items outside the realm of a shop.  What is the affect for flea markets?  Estate sales?  Antiques Shows?  Co-ops?  Private in-home estate purchases?

It is a false premise to assume that identity confirms ownership.

Section 382-9.  Reporting

Item A.    The entire burden of investigation and notification of stolen goods is placed upon the small business entity.    Businesses are unreasonably burdened with a 48 hour time period to report a great deal of information AND to watch the papers for reports of stolen goods.   A much better system would be to develop a communications system from the police departments to stores in their area when stolen goods are reported.

Item B.  Reporting requirements demand an electronic upload of data with use of very specific software to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.   Most small businesses, even those with computer usage, will not have the specific software necessary to make such an upload.  To comply, as it is currently written, would require a full time data processing staff!   Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that the Sheriff’s Department wants to receive a large quantity of phone calls each day to report to hear a time estimate of when the next report will come from a store.

It should be considered that massive uploading of data to the Monroe County Sheriff’s data system creates the potential for system complications and failures.

Section 382-10.  Enforcement and Penalties

Law abiding business people who are given impossible laws to follow will be turned into criminals by default!  This is extremely poor design.  If the intent of this law is to aid in the return of stolen goods, then the business people who are involved in the scope of the law should not be made the criminal.  

Legislation should be written to protect business operations and not create an environment of undue burden and thus create law breaking by un-intentions.

Section 382—11.  Severability

Item B.   “This chapter shall not supersede any similar legislation enacted by a local jurisdiction within the County.”  

There are many flaws in the scope of this legislative proposal yet the burden of correction will have to be done item by item by item.

Any town within the County that passes local law for similar situations will not be part of the county wide Sheriff’s Department data base.   This totally negates the benefit of having a central area of all data.   To consider that stolen property will remain within a township border is completely invalid.   All the intent of this proposed legislation becomes defunct by its own statures.

In Summary

If the Monroe County Legislature feels that there is a significant problem within Monroe County in regards to the fraudulent buying and selling of stolen goods in commercial establishments, then the County would best be served by establishing a mutual system of co-operation among businesses and law enforcement agencies involved.  

A system whereby the police agencies can share information with area businesses that stolen goods may be in the marketplace will do a much greater service to the residents of the county. 

The proposed legislation only creates an environment of extreme hardship and financial burdens under the threat of legal prosecution upon established businesses in our community.   This law, if enacted, will deter business growth and taxable income for our county.

Friday, March 29

Letter to Jeff Adair, Monroe County Legislature

Whenever a proposal comes before your legislative body - be it state, national or local - it is imperative to express your views about the legislation.  The following is a letter I sent to my representative in the Monroe County Legislature. 

Jeff Adair
Monroe County Legislator

As the county legislator representative for my town of Riga, I feel it is imperative to express my deep concern over the proposed county legislation to regulate pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and jewelry and coin exchange dealers.    I have worked as a small, sole proprietor business owner in antiques/collectibles for over 35 years. I have experienced the retail business from every possible selling/buying angle.   The county law proposal is not a well thought out law nor is it a realistically enforceable if passed.  It will not solve any stolen property issues.  Most definitely however it will hurt small business owners and antiques/collectibles sellers. 

Several years ago the NY State legislative branches tried to implement similar guidelines and it was a complete failure.  In a nutshell - the proposals were not logistically enforceable, would create massive paperwork and expense for law enforcement agencies and create havoc among small business owners thereby deterring business growth. 

The current Local Law Proposal facing the Monroe County Legislature has not addressed any of the issues that the state legislature could not resolve. 

Some specific points:

1.  Definitions are extremely vague as to what business persons are affected.  What is the intent of the law regarding internet businesses?  Many people today operate businesses from their home offices - are these subject to police inspection?  If someone sells a general line of antiques and also sells some jewelry which might fall under this law, are they required to follow the same law procedures as a major jewelry store or pawn shop?  Are antiques co-op participants also required to follow the same law proposal?

2.  Precious Metal Definitions.  Jewelry composed of copper is virtually considered low end value in the costume jewelry world.  Household items of all copper are also traded.  Under the definitions of Precious Metals, copper is included.  It is hard to fathom writing a report for police investigative purposes for an item that might be worth less than $10.  In addition, much vintage jewelry that is silver also falls into a low retail value.  Oddly enough a funky rhinestone necklace can be work more than a sterling silver ring!  One more point - many small business buy more for style/age/appeal than precious metal content and do not test metal.  Such actions require expertise and equipment most businesses don't have available.  The point is too many variables determine price of jewelry and not just precious metal.

3.  Most antique and collectibles sellers buy their inventory at estate sales, flea markets, auctions and between dealers.  Only a small portion is purchased through front door walk-ins. 

4.  An annual $250 license fee is an exorbitant cost for most small business owners.   On the surface this fee represents nothing more than an unspecified tax on some business owners! 

5. Section 382-6.  Licensing, Item K - exemptions:  "Any Jewelry or Coin Exchange Dealer, whose annual gross retail sales are comprised of less than 15% Secondhand Articles.  To establish this as a viable requirement is not within the general accounting actions of small business operations.  It is an illusive number system.  It is open for wide abuse.

6.  Section 382-9. Reporting, Item A, regarding reports due to Monroe County Sheriff within 48 hours of purchase is unreasonable and useless.  The Sheriff's office will have no manpower to process the sheer volume that such a law would require.  Instead of being affective in crime problems,  the police enforcement officers will be severly burdened by the county's legislative proposal.

7.  Section 382-9.  Reporting, Item B.  Many businesses do not have the capability to use internet uploading of data as prescribed.  Creating a law that creates conditions impossible to follow is not good law. 

These are only a few points of contention with the proposed draft law.   The intent of it being "a tool to recover stolen merchandise" is a false premise.  The law will do no such thing.

As my county representative and as leader of the County Legislature, I strongly urge you to vote against this proposal.  Monroe County depends on small business operations and the antiques and collectibles business is a strong source of tourism in our region.   Making criminals out of business owners who fail to meet impossible demands and adding heavy financial costs of annual licensing will only serve to hinder retail business and subsequent sales tax benefits to our county.  Nothing in this law proposal will aid police enforcement with regards to stolen property.

Barbara Boyce