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Scarsdale Man, Pelham Salon Owner Sounds Off

PELHAM, N.Y. –William Ragone thinks the village is doing nothing to support his Fifth Avenue business.

"They've always done a poor job maintaining a downtown," said Ragone, the owner of Billy Shears Hair Salon. "It's almost like they wish they didn't have a downtown."

The Scarsdale resident opened his salon on July 1, 1982. Since then, two other salons opened next door to him. Ragone said he doesn’t understand how the village’s board of trustees allowed that to happen.

"It's poor planning on the city's part to have three like businesses in a row," Ragone said. "A downtown should consist of a variety of store fronts to entice shoppers."

Ragone said the government in Pelham has not done right by the shops on its main street.

Ragone worked for another salon before he decided to claim his independence and open his own shop. Today, he has decorated the salon with photos of the Beatles, Rihanna and Halle Berry. He serves men, women and children with haircuts and color.

Despite his longevity, the owner still has issues with the administration in Pelham.

"It's the ignorance of the mayor and the trustees to have the same blood on the board for so many years," Ragone said.

Calls to the mayor and village board for comment were not returned.

Billy Shears Hair Salon has survived for almost three decades despite the newer salons mere feet away. Ragone, who studied hair styling for two years in Manhattan, said his reputation of high quality work has given him an edge over the competition.

"The proof is in the clientele," Ragone said. "The salon that's busy all the time is doing something right."

Ragone serviced a customer from Rye Monday who has driven to Billy Shears Hair Salon for 26 years. That level of dedication from his customers is why Ragone said he is not worried about competition.

"It'll take an army of hairdressers to put a dent in Billy Shears," Ragone said.

What do you think of Ragone's comments? Is he right about the state of downtown Pelham? Do you get your haircut at Billy Shears? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter @DailyPelham .

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