NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Mayor David J. Narkewicz ordered six benches removed from downtown, and the city council wants them put back, but then, Wednesday night, benches suddenly appeared downtown.
22News reporter spoke with the carpenter who took matters into his own hands.
It's a term typically used by party throwers, but on Wednesday, the term BYOB meant something else, " Bring Your Own Bench," and that's just what this Goshen couple did.
Chloe Kendall of Goshen told 22News, "They were here for my dad's birthday, just shopping and having lunch, and they noticed there was nowhere to sit or that a lot of people where sitting on steps."
Two weeks ago the city's mayor ordered the removal of six city benches in an effort to curb vagrancy. That's when Chloe Kendall and her husband, who's a woodworker, decided to take matters into their own hands and bring three wooden benches to Main Street.
"I completely agree with the issue of people panhandling and sitting there all day, keeping them from the people who are shopping and want to sit on the benches," said Keane Kendall. "I don't feel they should necessarily take all the benches out."
Those who visit the city were surprised to find benches.
"I'm on the fence about that, I think it's a valid point that they were taking over by the same people continuously, while I understand its a lovely place for people to sit it seemed as though it was monopolized," said Kim Archambault of Belchertown.
Dan Lauber of Belchertown said, "I'm not sure if more benches are the solution. I believe the benches should be brought back."
A demonstration protesting the removal of the benches will take place this Saturday. It will be the second one in one week.
However, one source told 22News the mayor plans to bring the benches back before then.