By Janine Bowen
A Westchester musician is still trying to share his music with the people of Cold Spring after the town forced him to stop playing earlier this spring.
Matt Miller, 66, had been playing his guitar in Dockside Park for quite some time before he was found to be in violation of town ordinances that forbid amplified music and the use of tip jars. The Yorktown resident said even though there are places he could play closer to his home; he chose to come to Cold Spring because the crowds in the small town offer greater reinforcement while the crowd tips help pay the bills.
“I consider myself to be the pied piper of Cold Spring,” said Miller.
Miller requested that the village board grant him a permit to continue playing in the park, but trustees were not supportive of the idea. Mayor Dave Merandy, who noted that the village has had several conversations with Miller about this issue, explained that ordinances are in place for a reason and that granting one musician a permit to play would set a precedent that the village does not want. He stated that if one permit were granted, other musicians would then want the ability to play in public spaces as well.
Miller argued that permits would be granted on an individual basis, so that the village would not have to allow any performers that they did not like, and said he has video footage proving that park-goers enjoy his music and argued that nine out of ten people who pass by give him positive reinforcement. Trustee Cathryn Fadde, however, stated that she has heard several complaints from residents who asked the village board to look into the matter and make Miller cease playing in the park.