Some Maysville residents aren't too supportive of animal control efforts being debated by the town council.
At a Feb. 8 Maysville City Council meeting, seven citizens spoke about their concerns with the proposed animal control ordinance.
Of particular concern is a proposal to issue citations to people whose dogs bark for more than 15-minutes and dogs that are not getting “proper exercise.”
Fifteen people attended the meeting on Feb. 8.
The city council will hold a called meeting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, to vote on the animal control ordinance.
The city attorney made notes of the citizens' concerns and will present an updated proposal to the council to consider.
Copies of the updated ordinance will be available at city hall for the public to review prior to the meeting.
Maysville resident Teresa Goodman spoke on citations being issued for dogs barking more than 15 minutes.
“That is completely unreasonable for this rural area,” she said. “Somebody tell me how to stop a puppy from barking.”
Resident Tiffany Crow said she wants her dog to bark and alert her if other animals or people are on her property. She asked what the fine would be for these citations.
The ordinance states that the first citation would be $100 and the second would be $150.
However, the city attorney said the judge would have discretion to change the amount of the fine at a hearing.
Crow also questioned why there is a section in the ordinance stating that dogs must be receiving “proper exercise” and how this would be determined.
She said her dog might be considered overweight, but he is healthy and she didn’t believe she should receive a citation on that.
Goodman also spoke on the language in the ordinance saying that pet owners must have “general control” of animals.
She asked whether she would be allowed to have her dogs on her property without a leash.
Maysville citizen Gary Crowe asked whether an “invisible fence” could be used as an enclosure to keep a dog on the owner’s property.
“We’re not trying to tell people they can’t have dogs" said councilman Richard Parr. "We just need something (an ordinance) with bite in it.”
Among the changes the city attorney said he will make to the proposed ordinance include: Deleting the section on issuing a citation if an animal is not receiving “proper exercise,” adding an invisible fence could be an acceptable enclosure and further defining the “15-minute barking” section.
In other action, the council:
•approved the calendar of events for the Community Club. Planned events include a community yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 6, an Antique Fest and Car Show on April 10, a Farmers Market and bingo on May 15, a summer concert and food truck on June 12, the Autumn Leaf Festival Oct. 1-2, Halloween Bash on Oct. 30, Thanksgiving senior lunch on Nov. 20 and Christmas in the Park on Dec. 4.
•heard from Katina Thomas about her concerns with speeders in Ridgeland Subdivision. “Traffic is ridiculous,” she said. “It sounds like a race track. We have 30 kids who live in that neighborhood. Someone is going to get hurt. I don’t know what can be done but a speed bump would be amazing.” Council member Scott Harper, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Mayor Richard Presley, said that the issue had been discussed with the city’s police chief and attorney. “We are going to address this,” he said. “We are not ignoring it.” Jessie Milton also spoke and said speeders are also an issue on Cemetery Street.
•held a 10-minute closed session to discuss legal issues. No action was taken when the meeting was opened to the public.