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Bark now, or forever hold your leash

 

Dogs bark when something’s amiss. We humans sign petitions. The time has come to do a little of both.

Not to many working people have the leeway to attend a 10 a.m. City Council meeting, but for those who can, Tuesday’s meeting in city hall represents a rare opportunity to let city leaders know not just that their $1,000 fine for an off leash dog is out of line, but that the time has come to make this a more dog-friendly city.

How? By coming through with promised dog parks, by instituting off leash hours, at least on an experimental basis at a city park or two, and by not dumping on that substantial population of voters that has dogs.

Petitions calling upon the city to reduce the recently imposed $1,000 fine for letting a dog off its leash are now circulating around town and online. You can find, and sign, the online version here.

At tomorrow’s meeting the city will take up a proposal to reduce the fine. Also introduced will be an amendment authored by council member William Cole that would allow the city’s director of recreation and parks to enact off leash hours at city parks — something that currently can’t be done because of the leash law. Cole’s amendment would exempt city-approved off leash hours from the law.

Of course, that doesn’t mean off leash hours will be approved, only that they can be.

Cole said he expects the fine reduction and the off-leash authorization to eventually be approved by the council.

“Yes, I believe that both will get support for a majority of the Council,” he said. “There appears to be rather broad support for the off-leash language, but I haven’t started counting votes.”

Tuesday’s meeting is a hearing (on Bill 09-0322) before the Judiciary & Legislative Investigations Committee. The committee is chaired by Councilman Jim Kraft, and its other members are Robert Curran, Rikki Spector, Agnes Welch and Cole.

The meeting is in the City Council Chambers on the 4th floor of City Hall. (A picture ID required for admission to City Hall.)

Comments

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time April 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

I won’t make it tomorrow–working hours for me. It seems to me that the city is just finding more and more ways to drive out the stable, middle-class folks who can provide a stable base for growth and development. They’re going after low-hanging revenue fruit when they ought to be devoting thought (if they ever actually think) to making the city more attractive to working people. These dog fines are both the tip of the iceberg and an alarming symptom. The renaissance may be over, and the flight to the suburbs may be about to start up again. Too bad–we were very close to having a wonderful city.

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