August 5th, 2006, 03:18 PM
St. Catharines council recently turned down a request for a dog park (http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentID=137378&catname=Local+News). Due to a clerical error the issue can and will be reopened in a couple of weeks.
There is a lot of opposition to it. Based on the addresses of those writing editorials it seems to be a lot of people who live near the park where the dog park is proposed. Then again they seem to reject anything that would bring people into ‘their’ park.
The city staff seems to support it as does the local paper which accused those councilors voting against it of really doing so due to issues with the park supporters rather than the proposal itself. Also when asked to raise 10% of the cost and doing so with donations and an offer from a pet store to pick up the rest to make the 10% figure some councilor couldn’t support it unless they picked up even more.
Either way there is a vote in progress at the local newspaper and it doesn’t look good but please do what you can and give it a click in support of the dog park. As it's the weekend we have two days to affect this 'daily question poll'
August 5th, 2006, 04:17 PM
I clicked for the park - and while I know newspaper online polls are not scientific - I was shocked to see so many in opposition. What does it matter? I suspect the way they worded the question, ie do you think the city should pay $42,000 for the park may have something to do with it. Perhaps you should write a letter to the editor pointing out the unfairness and slant of the question? The question should just ask would you support a dog park? I could be wrong but I am guessing (?) that many just see the dollar signs and not the overall value of the park to the community. People can be so short sighted, sigh!
August 5th, 2006, 10:04 PM
I voted Yes! Anything for the doggies!!!:dog:
August 5th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Supported and passed :fingerscr
August 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM
I clicked for the park - and while I know newspaper online polls are not scientific - I was shocked to see so many in opposition. What does it matter? I suspect the way they worded the question, ie do you think the city should pay $42,000 for the park may have something to do with it. Perhaps you should write a letter to the editor pointing out the unfairness and slant of the question?
True enough but $42,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to some of the things they haves spent money on recently. I did send a letter yesterday and we will see if they print it. It is short becasue they have a word count rule.
Letter to Editor
On the City of St. Catharine’s official website you will find the following two sentences. “The City of St. Catharines “The Garden City” invites you to enjoy the many parks, greenspaces and trails that are part of our vibrant community. You can keep fit year-round by enjoying a walk, leisurely stroll or a brisk run on one of the many trails in our city”.
St. Catharines has indeed spent a lot of money in order to encourage local residents and visitors to get outside and keep fit. Some may walk; jog, cycle, roller blade and some exercise their dogs in an effort to participate in a healthier lifestyle. These trails were not built or intended for the bicycles, roller blades or dogs but for the people themselves.
Similarly when discussing a dog park maybe some people should stop focusing on the dogs with comments such as ‘we shouldn’t be spending money on dogs” because the request is to build a dog park for the use of PEOPLE who own dogs not for the dogs themselves. The dogs may or may not deserve it or demand it as dogs don’t pay taxes or vote, their human owners who will truly use these facilities a full 365 days of the year however do.
Councilor Carol Disher’s reported comment as to whether she would retable the motion was “"you're damn right I'm going to". For that an editorial letter writer accused her of being so close to the issue that she should have declared a conflict of interest. Did every councilor who so strongly supported the four-pad arena with family that may someday actually use those arenas declare a conflict of interest? No. Conflict of interest isn’t declared over how adamant you believe in something. The city could use more councilors like Carol Disher.
As for those arenas there are claims that the cost overrun alone (not the total cost) will be greater than five million dollars. If that’s true then for less than one percent of the estimated cost overrun alone a dog park could be provided for the two legged citizens of St. Catharines who desire and deserve one. Of course they may want to bring their four legged friends with them.
August 6th, 2006, 10:57 AM
Great letter :thumbs up
Similarly when discussing a dog park maybe some people should stop focusing on the dogs with comments such as ‘we shouldn’t be spending money on dogs” because the request is to build a dog park for the use of PEOPLE who own dogs not for the dogs themselves. The dogs may or may not deserve it or demand it as dogs don’t pay taxes or vote, their human owners who will truly use these facilities a full 365 days of the year however do. Owning dogs though one must purchase dog tags to this city, pay vetenary expenses creating jobs not to mention pet supplies and food. So in reality owning animals is helping the economy so asking for a dog park is the least a city can provide ... no :D
August 6th, 2006, 11:00 AM
From my experience in dog parks, people around the park don't like it. The city workers don't like maintaining them and city usually gives dog park petitioners the most useless piece of land to use too, which can make it even uglier. People say it's better to have a park so the dogs aren't roaming around the whole town, but I think a dog here and there is less visible (and less loud) than 30 or so dogs in a small enclosure.
That said, dog parks do build communities and do keep children (and people in general) safer IMO because people are less likely to let a dog off leash in surrounding parks.
August 6th, 2006, 11:00 AM
i voted yes! :crazy:
That was a good letter by the way!!!
August 6th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Thanks guys, every click counts.
August 6th, 2006, 12:38 PM
We threw our vote it and I hope it helps. Given the lagging economies of in small towns and cities like St. Catherine's one would think they would be trying to do everything they can to make their particular city attractive to tourists. As my dawgs come with me on holidays and daytrips, I for one carefully research my summer travels and purposefully head out to locations where there are dog beaches and leash-free parks. If you are making a deposition to the City, it might be worth some time pulling the numbers on the # of dogs in Ontario and the millions of $$'s we spend on our dogs and on travelling with our dogs.
August 6th, 2006, 01:19 PM
If you are making a deposition to the City, it might be worth some time pulling the numbers on the # of dogs in Ontario and the millions of $$'s we spend on our dogs and on travelling with our dogs.
I'm not as I am not a member of the sponsoring group and do not live in St. Catharines. I do however visit and have family that lives there.
We used to go to an 'illegal' dog park there which was really ignored by the local authorities and the landowner until an awful death of a small dog by two large dogs (the proposed park recommended includes monitoring by the local humane society and a two sections for big and small dogs to avoid any such incident).
In nearby Niagara on the Lake there is a common area for dogs which the city admits to knowing about and they condone it but they do not want to advertise it in order to keep it manageable. Heck until two years ago ANY dog was welcome in the Niagara on the Lake public library.
Your point regarding tourism is valid. Every weekend at that park there was a car with New York license plates (the park was a fifteen minute drive from the international border). Also the walkers were from all the municipalities across the entire region.
August 22nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
Well this time around they passed it 10 - 2. A great day for St. Catharines.
Dog park gets paws-up; City council approves leash-free zone after initially turning it down
Local News - Tuesday, August 22, 2006 @ 01:00
St. Catharines city council has had its say - leash-free dogs will have their day.
On Monday, council approved the city's first leash-free dog park, three weeks after narrowly voting down the Burgoyne Woods project.
Following a lengthy discussion that focused on the appropriate type of fence for the two-hectare park, councillors gave it the green light by a 10-2 vote.
The reversal happened after Coun. Carol Disher, a champion of the park, retabled the previously defeated motion after it was found to be listed in error on the July 31 agenda.
In a presentation to council, Suzanne Mason of People Advocating for Leash-free Zones (PALZ), said the group wanted to "clarify some misinformation that was presented.
"We are back this evening, representing PALZ and numerous dog owners throughout the city asking you to approve a leash-free dog park in Burgoyne Woods," she said.
While several councillors had thought the $42,000 price tag suggested in the staff report was too much, Mason said the actual cost would be much less - possibly around $21,000 - for a cheaper fence and sign.
Mason said PALZ had received a quotation for a farm-style fence for $18,500 and $25,000 for a steel fence.
She said another local company has suggested a sign could be built for $450.
She also said PALZ was willing to contribute 20 per cent of the cost of the project, compared to the 10 per cent staff asked for.
City parks and recreation director Ron Zizman defended the city's previous cost estimates as a realistic amount that includes a steel fence, taxes and a contingency fund.
"We want to make sure we account for all costs before we go to tender," he said.
Zizman also said the staff recommendation for galvanized steel fencing represented the current standard for city parks. "We feel that's the minimum standard we'd like to see the park operate on," said Zizman.
"I wouldn't recommend diminishing the quality of the fence, because of the security associated with other people using the park as well," he said.
Just before the vote, Mayor Tim Rigby said that when the project was first proposed in 1999, "it certainly made a great deal of sense."
At the time, no one could have realized "how large an issue it can generate," he said.
Rigby said he has checked with other Ontario mayors about their leash-free dog parks and they all reported success.
City staff will make a report to city council on cost estimates for both farm and steel fencing.
Councillors Cam Donevan and Greg Washuta voted against the project.There was mild applause from Disher and PALZ representatives when the motion to create the park was carried.
August 22nd, 2006, 08:46 PM