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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Was This A Filibuster?

Cincinnati City Council talked for more than half an hour Wednesday about vicious dogs and pit bulls. On the table for a vote was an ordinance from Cecil Thomas that would train 10 police officers to learn to identify pit bulls and order any officer or dog warden to remove from premises any improperly confined vicious dog or "any dog identified as a pit bull terrier."

It wasn't just the ordinance itself that prompted the 30-plus minute discussion. Chris Bortz wanted to know why it didn't say specifically what training the officers would get. He did most of the questioning and wanted more time to do more, but Mayor Mark Mallory wouldn't give it to him. Bortz also dropped in a key piece of info: Harold Dates (he's the CEO of the SPCA, aka the head dog warden) was against the ordinance too.

Council members seemed more interested in how the ordinance got to the floor of council without debate first in Thomas' law committee (that's because he didn't have a quorum there Tuesday afternoon) and without the knowledge of members of a task force established last fall to study the city's vicious dog law and make fixes to it.

Bortz's aide, Tracy Schwetschenau, was a task force member. She only knew of one meeting. James Tomaszewski, an attorney, thought he was co-chairman of the task force and presented an update to law committee two weeks ago in that capacity. He showed up at council Wednesday, saying he'd only just heard about the ordinance. His update said the task force planned to take the summer to collect more information about dog complaints before coming back to council to propose changes. So imagine his surprise when he saw changes already Wednesday. Thomas said subcommittees of the task force had been meeting.

So Bortz, Jeff Berding and Laketa Cole started asking questions about how the task force, of which they thought council approved the members, got changed. Thomas said he changed it after deciding the task force had too many city workers on it. He wanted it, he said, to be "community-driven." That, of course, made them ask how one council member could unilaterally change the makeup of a group council had helped set up.

Thomas said the whole thing needed to be handled as an emergency to get the ordinance in place as summer and dog complaints start heating up. He insisted it was only a first step to be done while the task force continued its work. The extra officers are needed, he said, to collect more information about dog cases - information the task force needs to make its decisions about what to do next.

Cole said she's opposed to breed-specific legislation. The motion that established the task force in September 2007 did say the task force should investigate non breed-specific issues. Cole also said she "was not told this was about training of our officers." She suggested sending the ordinance back to committee for more study, but that motion failed 5-3. (Roxanne Qualls was absent)

Cole wanted to know how much it would cost to train the officers to be able to spot pit bulls. Thomas said it would be free, courtesy of the SPCA. That made people even more confused, since Bortz had said Dates was opposed to the ordinance.

Mallory finally cut the debate off, saying he'd hold the ordinance for one week.

In the end, Leslie Ghiz said, "Is that a filibuster, what I just witnessed?"

Mallory responded: "Probably the closest thing to it so far."


at 10:59 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK so lets make sure we understand whats going to happen here. Our 'leaders' and the police are going to team up and train several officers to identify dangerous animals like pit bulls and seize them for our safety. What a crock this idea is. Our police officers aren't smart enough to control the human population much less the K9 vilians. Whats next a new holding cell and bond for animals that might be dangerous. WTF. Pass all the useless laws you can and train as many useless peace officers as you can, but step one foot onto my property and both my K9 and my shot gun will be ready.

A question for those who support continued intrusions into our lives by the government, aren't there perhaps smarter people who could focus on real problems that we should be electing to office. With the continued heavy hand of big brother always watching, arresting, and charging it's citizens with rediculos crimes I would encourage everyone who can get a concealed carry permit to do so. It won't be long before they 'our elected leaders' come nocking on your door for more of the same garbage. And don't count on the useless police to be their to assist you the citizen, they report to the government, kind of like the nazis amny years ago.

at 11:49 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

People like Chris Bortz live in neighborhoods where the dogs are small, froo-froo and come with pedigrees. He should come live on Montana Ave for a couple weeks so he could see for himself just how much of a nuisance these dogs really are. We need people on council that can relate with everyday people, not elitist types like Bortz who think they know better than everyone else and then go home to their nice safe and white community.

at 11:54 AM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone still unconvinced that Cecil Thomas is an idiot?

Roxanne sure seems to be taking a lot of Council meeting days off. Good thing all those people who voted for her without having any clue what kind of politician she is did so.

at 12:11 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Council Members should take a look at 3450 Corrine Avenue - where the one of many vicious dogs just bit the next-door neighbors' dog (little beagle). The beagle which was bitten is presently in the vet hospital for the second time due to the same dog biting it. These dogs pin neighbors in their cars and show their teeth automatically and stand in an attack formation. Now, this to me is taking away the freedom (quality of life) of the law-abiding surround neighbors.

We need more laws or enforcement because the present SPCA does not do a very good job. Sometimes they do not even show-up!

Thank you Council Member Thomas for working on this issue. Please support it quickly before one of our children are severely injured from 3450 Corrine Avenue's dogs.

at 12:58 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the ordinance. It is needed to enforce an unenforceable law.
council let us down on this yesterday.

at 1:37 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

A response to ANON, 12:11 PM, May 08, 2008:

This is a true fact about GEORGE the beagle being bit for the second round by Rick Carlson's dogs. GEORGE was bit 5 times on Tuesday morning. If the surgury he underwent does not work, he will not be able to walk again. GEORGE was in his own backyard along with their other dogs, when the vicious dog came over the fence and attacked. This is not the first time for little GEORGE. How many more incidents will it take?

A previous priest who is no longer at Our Lady of Lourdes Church was bit by one of Mr. Carlson's vicious dogs. The Door-Store guy has been chased. The Western Hills Press delivery boy has been bit.

Neighbors are in fact prisoners in their own homes and cannot leave their children out to play nor even their dogs.

Mr. Carlson and his vicious biting dogs have more rights than the surrounding neighbors on Corrine Avenue, Locust, Allview, and other streets. PLEASE TAKE THEM AWAY along with Rick Carlson who also owns THOUSANDS of dollars to both the City and County for back-taxes.

He is a criminal of all sorts!

at 1:52 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cincinnati Enquirer should do some investigative work on the 3450 Corrine Avenue - owner of the dogs. You should show the beagle who was bit and how the innocent are always the victims of those who are criminals such as this owner.

Michelle Hopkins of Channel 5 news did a report on this same owner because the same dogs would chase the mailman. I remember viewing this story because the neighbors on Corrine Avenue had to purchase a special mailbox for curbside service due to their neighbor's neglect. Initially, they had no mail delivery and had to pick-up their mail for months.

How can we live in today's world and take away taxed paid services such as mail delivery because of a neighbor who does not care or follow laws allowing his dogs run loose? To this date, I always wanted to get hear the follow-up on this story. Now, it is even sadden due to the little beagle being bit.

See if The Cincinnati Enquirer can get the bottom of this mess.

at 2:51 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, City Council passed an ordinance that they had no idea how to enforce... a ban on pit bulls. The SPCA, as hard as it tries, is under-manned and over-used by the Cincinnati Police Department because, as stated before, the ban is difficult to enforce. Someone needs to be able to identify these dogs when the SPCA can't make it out. The City better step up and pay for the training. It was their dumb idea to ban these dogs in the first place. So, tell me again...why did the idiots in the city re-elect this same group??? You got what you asked for...

at 4:08 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't Cincinnati support the SPCA somehow?

at 5:53 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opponents to this law cry over and over that it's not enforceable but when anyone tries to make it enforceable, people like Chris Bortz try to block any improvements because another one of his special interest friends wants to have a pit bull in the city limits. Maybe next time Chris will try to sell city hall to one of his developer friends at a rock bottom price to turn a quick profit.

at 6:12 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Council didnt let anyone down. Council members are sworn in to protect the City's Charter. Get this... a motion passed by council, was totally disregarded in Thomas' follow through on viscous dogs. Thomas allowed the law department to come up with this policy, rather than the Task Force which was charged to do so by councils approval of the motion.

Looks like Thomas does whatever he wants... maybe he can make himself a four year councilmember, too! Ha!

The ordinance never saw due diligence while in the Law Dept.

So folks, don't blame council members for sticking to good government.

They're not against viscous dogs, just folks who disregard the council-committee system.

at 6:57 PM, May 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2007 motion was never voted on by council.
It was referred to the administration. The administration presented this ordinance, which should have been passed yesterday. It is exactly what is needed to help enforce the Pit Bull law.

at 9:23 AM, May 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Viscous dogs? Sounds like much Camus over nothing to me.

Now if we're talking vicious dogs, that's another thing entirely. The city pays the SPCA $100,000/year. For that kind of money they should be doing their job of taking away illegal dogs. If pitbulls must be licensed and they're not, they're illegal. End of story.

This is just another kind of environmental INjustice. Pitbulls are tolerated in neighborhoods where people seem to matter less and are not tolerated in neighborhoods where people seem to matter more. Get rid of the dangerous dogs.

at 11:45 AM, May 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON, 12:11 PM, May 08, 2008; 1:37 PM, May 08, 2008; 1:52 PM, May 08, 2008; 9:23 AM, May 09, 2008:

I certainly hope these dogs at 3450 Corrine Avenue have their rabies shots. It sounds to me that Mr. Carlson (the owner) should be prosecuted for illegal activities and not abiding my the laws.

This should be under investigation and checked into more so than a dog license. Both are extremely important, but rabies shots are moreover the upmost important part. From reading your comments and others on the other blog about dogs, I bet my life on it this irresponsible owner does not have dog licenses or rabies shots for any of the dogs.

Hopefully, both matters will be taken care of for The Corrine Avenue neighbors. Rabies can kill someone and another animal! The SPCA should be all of this matter to make sure nobody is in harm's way.

I agree with the other writer too that The Cincinnati Enquirer should follow-thru by champion this story by taking pictures or retrieving more details from surrounding neighbors (get the whole story). They should ask the CPD#3 and SPCA what is taking place and how this situation will be taken care of. Then we will all know what to do if it happens in our neighborhood.

Thank you for sharing your story about Corrine Avenue. It is very educational; but also, it is very hurtful to know that your neighborhood has been going through this for so so so many years. Sorry to the family whose dog was bitten. I certainly pray he will recover.

Lastly, not all pitbulls are vicious dogs; but, the ones who are harmful is due to the way the dogs are raised. Plus, Mr. Carlson's dogs may or may not be pitbulls for it was not specified. Any breed can be mean (vicious) if treated irresponsibly or intentionally. Just another reason it would be of our interest that The Cincinnati Enquirer check into this particular story even further. It may assist the neighbors to get more action and for the entire saga to end on the street aforementioned (Corrine Avenue).

at 11:57 AM, May 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Jane Prendergast,

Has your newspaper considered doing more investigative measure regarding this horrendous and very heartfelt story about Corrine Avenue?

Please do. I agree with 11:45 AM, May 09, 2008 ANON. I noted it on your other blog, too. I saw how others are writing information twice. I guess to get your attention. Please ... help!

at 5:30 PM, May 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

ppl with no lives have to sit here and complain about dogs runnin loose..GET A LIFE!!!!40 years ago dogs would run whild all the time..i want to no how many ppl on here actually call themselves Christains..do you even no rick? or the carlson family? of course not.. it like everything in the media u alone see bits and pieces of the story.. so maybe before everyone starts runnin there mouthes they should look into the story.. and last time i checked this is america ppl can do what they want...if rick wants 100 dogs y cant he? who are you to say he cant? wat makes you any better then him?

at 11:21 PM, May 10, 2008 Anonymous big massey ferguson said...

New to this media, not sure my meassage will be posted, but here goes. First, a little background to understand where I’m coming from. I farm 368 acres in Pike County, 23 miles outside of Waverly the county seat, not too far from lake White, about 80 miles east of Corrine Ave I suppose. Wife and I both work full time, factory jobs, we plant soy beans and corn as part time work around our place. We had come motorcycle gang biker types move into double wides down the road while back, the “meal men” or something like that, can’t be sure to their names, anyways, they had mean dogs chasing livestock and the kids around. Out here we don’t ani’t got no dog warden, hell, we’s only got two cops for all Pike County. Let me tell you folks on Corrine Street what you all needs to do. Make 20 or so meat balls, let them soak for a day or so in anti-freese, when no bodies looking toss them meatballs to the mean dogs, all the mean digs be dead next day, fact is that’s how we get rid of them dogs you city folks drive out here and let loose. Like that other person says, this is america, if Rick wants a hundred mean dogs he best be keeping them on his place, any dogs coming around me and mine ain’t gonna make it more than a day or so, and the cops out here ain’t gonna bother themselves over no damn dead dogs, you city folks don’t knows what america freedom is about.

at 4:55 AM, May 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:30, Do you know how to read, write and/or speak the English language? Ebonics do not count.

at 10:08 AM, May 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you meant to say ebonics DOES not count.

at 9:34 AM, May 12, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Massey Ferguson -

What you are suggesting - poisoning dogs with antifreeze - is animal cruelty and it is a crime. Antifreeze poisoning causes animals to die a slow and excruciating death from renal failure. And it is just as possible that one of your own livestock, or god forbid, a child would get ahold of one of those poisoned meatballs.

Do everyone a favor and keep your poison balls to yourself.

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