Council discusses ordinance

Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor

Parker resident Ryan Penning spoke to the city council at last Monday’s meeting in Parker. He explained that he wanted the group to make changes to the animal bite ordinance after his dog was recently bitten by his neighbor’s dog. Penning said that he called the police and animal control was called but they did not keep the Pitbull for observation due to the city’s ordinance that says it is the responsibility of the owner to place the animal on observation. 

Penning said since it was dog on dog, the dog was able to be kept at home on house arrest. 

He noted he would like to see the ordinance amended to say animal. 

“I believe there should be a zero tolerance for animal bites in general,” said Penning. 

He said he is just trying to raise awareness because he has two small girls and a dog who stays on his side of the fence. He noted that in his neighborhood there are five other children and eight other dogs and he shouldn’t have to worry about someone else’s dog coming on to his property and biting his dog. 

Mayor Ron Nelson said that the fact that it is a Pitbull is worrisome but the city does not have an ordinance against certain breeds. He noted that there are vicious dogs of any breed but Pitbulls are always suspicious. Nelson told the council that the deputy should have cited the owner for not having their dogs under control and for not having them licensed with the city. 

“Any dog not licensed in the city should not go back to the owner until that license is taken care of,” said Nelson. 

Nelson noted he agrees with Penning and if the council is going to stay with its current ordinance they need to put in that section, “a person or animal” because if a dog comes over a bit somebody’s cat, they would be in the same situation. 

“That dog had no business being there,” said Nelson. 

Street superintendent Mike Jorgensen told the council that he and the other city employees have been busy cleaning snow off of sidewalks. He noted that after the snowstorm on Wednesday, Jan. 15, they cleared a total of 23 sidewalks that were not done within the required amount of time. After the next snowstorm, they cleared 12. 

Jorgensen noted that most of the people who received a ticket the first time, did clean their sidewalks the second time. 

Nelson said that if there is snow on a sidewalk, it needs to be cleared. Councilwoman Peggy Berens said they can not consider the wind blowing the snow across a sidewalk a snow event. 

The council also talked about Parker’s annual spring cleanup. Jorgensen explained he would like to move the event to the fall, noting that in the spring, he and the other employees are so busy getting spring project done that it would be easier to do after school starts. 

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