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As predicted, the Dog Ordinance Debate has blown up on several fronts, primarily social media. There are salvos being launched from both sides, many informative and many incendiary. Only a few know why we are even making this such a priority and many of us are still not sure why.
But we also have outside forces working among us. A national group called RepealBSL is sending emails and has a mechanism where you can have them send a form letter to all of the Maumelle City Council members. On their “action” list, Maumelle is at the top. Here is the form letter they will send for you if fill out the form:
Dear City Council Member,I ask that you please repeal the archaic ban against dogs labeled as "pitbulls". Scientific studies, veterinary, canine, and public safety experts agree that BSL and breed-based bans are ineffective and a waste of public resources. Even worse, they are discriminatory towards responsible owners and punish dogs based only on their appearance or assumed breed, sometimes resulting in the seizure of loved pets that have done nothing wrong. Furthermore, repealing the ban will improve public safety because it will allow animal control and public safety officials to focus on more relevant breed-neutral factors that are directly and scientifically linked to dog bite-related incidents such as irresponsible owners, aggressive dogs (of any breed), and problems related to abuse or neglect. Breed prejudice as policy doesn't create desired safety outcomes. I oppose BSL because it is ineffective and based on faulty science. Please repeal BSL in Maumelle!
You can check out their information at www.repealbsl.org. Their site doesn’t really say who they are or where they are located, but it is obvious they are a national organization. I’m not convinced we really need them to help us decide, although there is a lot of information supporting their position. If you want to research the other side of the issue, you might check out www.dogsbite.org.
Interestingly, until yesterday, the sponsor of the ordinance, Chad Gardner, has been silent on the issue since he introduced it several weeks ago. He posted his summary of the meeting Wednesday. And Council Member R.J. Mazzoni, who usually posts a report and who amended the original ordinance, has also been silent. Gardner claims that his emails have “overwhelmingly” supported lifting the ban. Even if they do, there is nothing scientific about using that as his impetus to lift the ban. Let the voters decide.
The big question I keep asking and will keep asking is, “Why?” Will lifting the ban make Maumelle better? Will it make Maumelle safer? I want to express my opinion at the ballot box.
Regardless of your position on the issue, I would encourage you to email, text or call your City Council member. This seems to be how they are measuring what the people want, with some even calling emails and auto-generated emails “proof” of the voter’s wishes. Let us vote, Council Members! Through a series of missteps and a lot of confusion, you haven’t gotten the job done.
Here is the Maumelle City Council and their contact information. Let them know how you feel.
Chad Gardner 501-529-1336 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jess Holt 501-681-9705 - email@example.com
R.J. Mazzoni 501-912-4553 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Mosley 501-240-6700 - email@example.com
Ken Saunders 501-425-5839 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Shinn 501-680-8357 - email@example.com
Michael Tierney 501-851-1918 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Williams 501-920-8684 - email@example.com
I include the mayor because he can vote in case of a tie. He should abstain if there is a tie. That would indicate that the people need to have their voices heard.
Caleb Norris 501-851-2500 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully, the real leadership will step up and the Council can move back to more pressing issues like the Royal Family.
The Maumelle Fraternal Order of Police is sponsoring “Egg My Yard” just in time for Easter. The FOP will lay 25 eggs or $30 or 50 eggs for $50. They will be hiding eggs on April 2 and 3. Check their Facebook page for complete information and to reserve your egg time. See www.facebook.com/MaumelleFOP48.
The Jess Odom Community announced that it is easing some restrictions. The childcare room is open again, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, the basketball courts are now open to members, their guests and to paying customers.
The center will “slowly” add weight equipment that was previously removed. Masks are still required at all times in the Community Center except while actively exercising.
McClard’s returns for another three days at Brandon Moving & Storage,10505 Maumelle Boulevard., on March 10-13, starting at 11 a.m. until they run out or 3 p.m. - whichever happens first.
I heard an interesting rumor this week about the IHOP location on the Boulevard. There is work going on there and someone hinted it is to be a Joe’s Crab Shack. Doesn’t seem likely but we’ll see. Let me know if you know.
I did a quick survey of several restaurants in the area and only one, the Overtime Lounge, said it is returning to full capacity. I think the mask policy stays in force until the end of this month.
"I hope everyone's realized by now these masks make a difference. The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything's fine, take off your mask - forget it. It still matters." -- President Joe Biden
Keep on keeping on. It’s far from over. Wear your mask. Get your shot when you can.
See you on the Boulevard.
More news at www.ArkansasNewsroom.com.
Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to email@example.com. Thanks, PJ.
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