Bruce Lee once said the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
But at Town Hall Tuesday, it was apparently the stiffest and most unwavering of opinions that helped to keep unregulated bamboo alive in Huntington.
With a narrow 2-2-1 decision, the Town Board put an end to months of passionate debate and voted down a resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Berland, which would have regulated bamboo growth in the Township.
If approved, the law would have held property owners liable failing to mitigate bamboo growth onto an adjoining property, regardless of preexisting conditions. Proposed fines ranged from $200 to $5,000 for repeat offenses.
Even before a public hearing was heard earlier this year, Councilman Mark Curthberston vowed to not support bamboo restrictions.
"I have concerns with the motion that we are going to regulate the bamboo," . "I don't know what would be next, poison ivy?"
Cuthbertson remained true to his word Tuesday and voted down the measure.
The bamboo debate has been contentious and divided from the start — from residents and Town Board members.
In May, Berland pushed for an extension on the bamboo vote. A month earlier she , which sent one resident in disgust.
In a rare sight, Councilman Eugene Cook teamed up Tuesday with Cuthbertson in opposition against Berland and Supervisor Frank Petrone, who voted in favor of the restrictions. The 2-2 deadlock was broken by Councilman Mark Mayoka, who abstained.
Without a majority decision, the resolution did not pass.