Clay working to reach ‘mutually satisfactory resolution’ to dog ordinance
By Gary Lloyd
Clay has agreed to suspend the enforcement of its vicious dog ordinance as the city and two plaintiffs work to reach a resolution, according to court documents.
According to the court documents, both sides will work to reach a “mutually satisfactory resolution.”
The court order states that Clay city attorneys and plaintiffs Mary Schreiner and Stephen Schreiner are to appear in court on or before Sept. 15 to give Judge Joseph Boohaker a status report.
The breed specific ordinance was set to begin 60 days following the ordinance’s adoption June 3. A suit seeking an injunction was filed July 30and a hearing had been set for Monday. The preliminary injunction hearing was then delayed due to the parties being “in agreement to work cooperatively in an effort to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the claim involved herein.”
“We were going to go to court, let the judge hear it and see what happened,” Clay Mayor Charles Webster said. “They made a call at the last minute Friday and asked if we could sit down and talk before it came before the judge.”
Webster said he believes the plaintiffs were trying to “scare us into changing it without getting any kind of ruling on it.”
“My thought was to take it to the judge and let the judge decide and that way every city around us will know what they see,” Webster said. “We’ll be the guinea pig if that’s what we’ve got to be.”
Webster said the city doesn’t have the personnel to check to make sure residents are following the dog ordinance. That was never the intent, he said. He said the city would be dependent on the city’s residents to report vicious dogs and dogs not on leashes.
“It was basically on a volunteer basis that you come to City Hall and give us a picture of your dog and let us know that you’ve done all that you need to do,” Webster said.
Webster said he doesn’t want to repeal the ordinance.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s still enforced,” he said. “The judge didn’t rule on the papers they filed as far as an injunction. There’s no injunction that’s been filed against the ordinance yet.”
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