It may be illegal for the town of Hempstead, New York, to outright ban landscape work on certain days, but the town is trying to discourage landscape work on the weekends all the same. Town Supervisor Anthony Santino recently announced a plan to restrict the hours when people can start using leaf blowers and lawn mowers to 8 a.m. on the weekends, and up the penalties for violating the rule.

If the measure is approved, first offenses would incur a fine of $500, up to $1,500 for a third offense. The same penalties would apply to crews that blow yard waste into the street or on to neighboring properties.

“There’s nothing more annoying than waking up early in the morning and being disturbed by loud leaf blowers and lawn mower,” said Santino. As part of his announcement, he demonstrated how noisy a leaf blower can be by running one. “Part of the benefit of the peaceful suburban life is to escape from the racket of the city that never sleeps,” he said.

Laura Gillen, who is challenging Santino for his position, called the proposal and the announcement a stunt. “This leaf blower news conference is nothing other than political noise pollution from Supervisor Santino,” she said. “While jobs are being cut, this is a shameless waste of taxpayer dollars and an attempt to distract taxpayers from bipartisan calls for Santino to pass town ethics reforms.”