Archive for Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tonganoxie moves ahead in process to lift specific dog breed ban

June 21, 2016

Tonganoxie has come a step closer to lifting its specific dog breed ban.

About 35 people were in attendance at Monday’s Tonganoxie City Council meeting, with many speaking in favor of lifting the specific dog breed ban on pit bulls and Rottweilers.

The City Council originally established the breed ban by adopting an ordinance in 1993, and following with an amendment ordinance later that year. At the request of a citizen who had dogs that fell under the breed ban, the council again looked at the issue in 2009.

After hearing arguments on both sides of the issue, the council at the time opted not to take any further action.

People in dog care professions again spoke in favor of lifting the ban, as pet groomer Monica Gee and pet boarder Jenny Worden both spoke against the current restrictions.

Owners of dogs of those breeds also spoke in favor of lifting the ban, continuing to contend the bans nationally have been based on stereotypes, including backlash that followed the 2007 dog fighting case against NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

In past discussions about the ban, there has been public opposition to lifting the ban. However, at Monday’s meeting, no one in attendance called for the ban to stay in place.

One person who spoke even brought in a pit bull she had rescued. She spoke to the City Council about how the dog, which had to have one leg removed, has adjusted well and is a caring animal.

After hearing from the public, Council Member Kara Reed, who initiated bringing up the ban issue again after a few years, made a motion directing city staff to evaluate the current ordinance to remove the breed ban.

There likely will be a first reading of the ordinance at the next meeting and then a second reading and legal publication in The Mirror.

Residents still are welcome to provide input on the subject, whether for or against lifting the ban.

The city’s dangerous dog/animal ordinance remains in effect.

Council hears about anti-smoking campaign

The council heard from members of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce about their campaign to raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21 in Tonganoxie.

People 18 to 21 still can legally use nicotine, but can’t purchase it under the initiative that has been approved in Leavenworth, Lansing and some communities in the greater Kansas City metro area.

The council took no action on the matter at the meeting.

Community praises festival officials

Many people at Monday’s meeting commended the City Council and the community as a whole for its efforts in putting together the Tonganoxie Sesquicentennial.

Kay Soetaert, who is part of the Gallagher Park task force, was especially pleased with how the park was utilized for the event and said the festivities would have an impact on future planning phases for the park.

Council members commended fellow member Curtis Oroke and Reed for their work in chairing the festival committee.

Oroke discussed cleanup after the event early July 12, as other council members had pledged to help with cleanup. Council members said they were at City Hall at 6 a.m. cleaning up trash along Fourth Street while Oroke arrived at 7 a.m. at Gallagher Park to pick up benches.

Mayor Jason Ward apologized for the miscommunication and told Oroke to contact him if such a situation arises again.

Reed said final financial numbers still were being worked out, as some invoices still needed to be paid, but she hoped to have that information finalized in the coming weeks.

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