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

Wednesday, March 27

Monroe County NY Local Law Proposal / April 9 Meeting

Attention to all antiques dealers in Monroe County NY.  The County Legislature will consider for adoption a proposed local law to regulate and license pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and jewelry and coin exchange dealers.  According to NYS, antique dealers are registered as secondhand dealers.   Many years ago the state looked at the same kind of legislation and it created an uproar amongst antiques and collectibles business owners across the state.  Rightly so because the nightmare of enforcing such laws is worse than any problem it could potentially solve!  The legislation was tabled.

A longtime friend and business associate who is an independent shop owner has provided the following outline of information:
Coming very soon!  New fees and regulations from your County Legislators! 
Highlights of this upcoming local law to regulate Antique Dealers:

First, You will make application for and pay an annual license fee of $ 250.00 to the Sheriff’s department so they may inspect your premises. 
You will Photocopy the License or Photo ID of everyone you purchase an “article” from and a photograph of every article you purchase and send these photos immediately to the Monroe County Sheriff. (only books and clothing are exempt) 
That’s right, the Sheriff needs to know who dropped what off and what it is exactly? 
You will include serial numbers and makers marks…  
You will maintain this electronic database daily to manually enter all reportable transactions into the electronic reporting service via internet connection.
You will then store items you purchased away from public sale for no less than fourteen days. 
Noncompliance will bring fines of $ 200.00, then 1,000.00 then $ 3,000.00 for each additional offense
These new regulations make it that much harder to do business.  This  would create an unnecessary burden to anyone in the Antiques and Collectibles business.
Jill Leicht-Zulkosky

This legislative proposal has already passed through committee and will come up to the County Legislature's full session on April 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm. Please contact your county legislator or the media to voice your concerns.   In order to speak at session hearings, you must contact the county clerk prior to the meeting.

Please see the link for all the details:   The proposed law is pages 1--8.

Friday, March 22

Sunday, March 10

Spring Fashions

Ralph Lauren Spring Collection 2013


I have a confession:  I generally poo-pah fashion trends by the season because the styles seem to be either totally extreme for normal street wear or here-we-go-again vintage style repeats.  Well, I have to admit that is not how I feel about the fabulous Ralph Lauren Spring Collection 2013!  Black ~ White ~ Red ~ Floral, Stripes and elaborate embellishments!  Amazing classic lines with just the right twists ~ flattering fashions any body can wear - from tailored to feminine - what is not to love about his current show! 

So of course my vintage fashions head immediately turns to the eras and styles of inspiration.  Etsy abounds with great classic vintage selections for this new spring season!  There is a treasure chest to pull from! Big thanks to Vintage Fashion Guild members for the great selections shown here.




 Shop: vintage, black, red, spring, floral, stripe, suit, spring trend and VFG ~

and you will find a great selections ! 





Ralph Lauren Spring Collection 2013