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Merchants question new law

A meeting between second-hand vendors and the Town of Colonie was held two weeks ago, April 13, on the proposed Second Hand Law, and those involved said it went very well. However, the owners of Play It Again Sports, who have been outspoken critics of the proposal, said they were unaware that a meeting was even held.

Dottie Vonk, who owns Play It Again Sports with her husband, Steve, said she and her husband had not been contacted about the meeting between the merchants and the police department, even though they made it clear they wanted to be a part of the discussion.

We were not told, she said, adding that they had been away from April 5-15 but were checking voicemails and emails constantly. "I made it very clear I was interested in being involved. I made it clear that if this is going to affect us, we needed to be included."

Heider said he was led to believe that the merchants did contact the owners of Play It Again Sports.

According to Town Attorney Mike Magguilli, the meeting was organized by the merchants, but he said the town would be willing to meet with the Vonks separately.

"We let the merchants themselves decide who would be on the committee," Magguilli said. "We couldn't force people to meet with us."

"I think the meeting went fantastic," said Martin Finkle, owner of Finkle Jewelers. "They're [the town] is willing to work with us. Now we're just trying to figure it all out. The chief [Steve Heider] and everyone in attendance were more than accommodating to us."

The meeting was held to establish the ground rules and see what questions might arise from the law, which would require merchants to keep detailed records of the sale of second-hand goods.

Finkle said he understands the need for the second-hand law to keep residents safe and help recover stolen property.

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