After many battled with the Feiner Administration for over two years, the Town finally adopted a law regulating massage establishments – not to be confused with massage parlors. What’s the difference? Massage establishments offer legitimate massage and massage therapy services, usually by licensed massage therapists. There is little or no objection to these types of establishments or the massage therapists working there.
The law that was proposed initially and crafted by Robert Bernstein, after highlighting the issue of massage parlors brought to the forefront at an Edgemont Community Council meeting, was left untouched (no pun intended) by the Town Board. Despite regular discussions of the subject at regular Town Board meetings and various civic association meetings, no action was taken. Eventually, with the assistance of Mr Bernstein, a bill was introduced. Sadly, Town Attorney Tim Lewis was against it, saying he didn’t think it was legal. In fact, before the Town Board would vote the bill into law, he altered it.
Mr Bernstein, an attorney now practicing law in Scarsdale, NY, complained about the changes, stating that they actually weakened the bill and would have a deleterious effect on the police department’s ability to enforce it. It would also not afford protection to the young women working in these locations, whether by choice or not. It has been claimed that many of these “spas” are nothing more than facades for prostitution, sex slavery, and more. By having a watered-down law such as what Mr Lewis ultimately passed on to the Board, helping these young women would be more difficult.
At the last Town Board meeting, Mr Bernstein commented that while the Town had actually passed the Massage Establishment law, Mr Lewis determined they should remain open while their appeals for being shuttered were decided. Ironically, the Town Board condoned Mr Lewis’ action by postponing the appeals process which was supposed to be addressed at that same meeting but was put off until March 14th!
A mere two days following the Town Board’s blatant disregard for the law, a hallmark of Mr Feiner’s career as Supervisor with the Fortress Bible discrimination verdict, WestHelp, Dromore Road, Frank’s Nursery, GameOn 365 to mention just a few, Mr Feiner sent out an email blast announcing that four massage establishments had been shuttered. The charges were unauthorized practice of a profession and prostitution. The first charge was based on the fact that several employees were allegedly operating as licensed massage therapists and were not. The second charge does not need clarification. These are just charges at this point and it remains to be seen if the participants are found guilty and what the punishment might be.