Will the Bottle Ban be Concord’s New Year’s Resolution?
Even as the bottle ban’s effective date draws nearer, competing interests are playing a game of spin the bottle that has nothing to do with kissing. Meanwhile, there's an informational meeting for businesses this Wednesday.
In Concord, banning bottled water has never been as easy as H2 No.
And that continues to be true even now, after a bylaw prohibiting the sale of non-sparking, unflavored drinking water in single-serve PET bottles of 1 liter or less has been approved by annual Town Meeting and passed muster with the state Attorney General’s Office, which had tossed out a previous attempt.
Among the community there remains a bit of uncertainty about the practical application of the bylaw, and town officials will look to provide information and answers provide information and answers about lingering questions before the bylaw takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
To that end, an informational meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Town House. As well, additional information will be posted to the town website under the “Links for Businesses” section, according to a letter to local business owners signed by Town Manager Chris Whelan.
To read the letter, click the PDF posted above.
However, even as the “bottle ban” draws nearer, competing interests are playing a game of spin the bottle that has nothing to do with kissing.
On the one hand, there’s an effort afoot to put the bottle ban on the ballot as a nonbinding referendum in a townwide election. And on the other, a “Concord On Tap” campaign is working to wean Concordians off the bottle.
Those two campaigns butted heads on Election Day last month, when Sage Systems street teamers took to polling places around Concord to collect signatures on a pair of petitions and they ran into Jill Appel, the campaign manager for Concord On Tap, who happened to be out in support of Question 4.
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According to Mike McLaughlin, who identified himself to Patch as the Sage Systems employee coordinating their Nov. 6 effort in Concord, the petitions were to put the nonbinding referendum on the ballot and to suspend the bylaw’s taking effect until that vote can happen.
Appel, who was a co-petitioner for the bottle-banning article that passed Town Meeting, took exception the presence of Sage Systems signature collectors at the polls.“I’m really disappointed that Bottled Water Matters spends thousands of dollars to sent people who aren’t citizens of our community to influence our town policies,” she said.
“It was a momentous decision for the town, and it took a lot of courage,” Appel said, recalling that the Town Meeting vote had a “huge turnout” and was at a scheduled time.