Parks director Dean Gazza says he’s open to allowing dogs in parks, but the panel and council members were split on the wisdom of the action.
“For years I’ve had requests from constituents and others asking for dogs in parks,” said Alderman Mike Smith. “I don’t have a problem with dogs on a leash and if they’re under control.”
Current rules prohibit animals in parks, even if leashed. The city considered the same change in 2007 for its 28 parks, but shot down the idea.
“I see relaxing this rule as opening us up to a lot of problems,” said Alderman Chris Croatt. “There’s the bite risk and the likelihood that there will be dog feces in the parks. I think parks are a place that should be free of those risks.”
Alderwoman Cathy Spears floated the idea to open up parks to alcohol consumption at 9 a.m. instead of the current noon rule. Police pushed for the noon time to eliminate habitual offenders that loiter in parks.
The parks panel is set to vote on the potential rule changes at its next meeting Nov. 13.
— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @npenzenstadler