Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rottweiler shows up at council meeting

November 8, 2007

If there had been a pony, too, there would have been a dog and pony show at the Baldwin City Council meeting Monday night.

Instead, there was only a dog when Baldwin City resident Sarah Warmuskerken brought her Rottweiler, "Cross Check," to the meeting to show that it wasn't a vicious dog, but instead a service animal. The Wamuskerkens pit bull, "Bunny," was impounded last month as a result of the city's pit bull ordinance. "Bunny" had been involved in an August incident which drew a 911 call and concerns over the animal.

The Baldwin couple has since requested that the city do away with its pit bull ordinance which bans the breed. The matter has been sent to the safety committee and its chairman, Council Member Tony Brown, opened the agenda Monday with a report from the last meeting.

"We met and had a spirited discussion," said Brown. "About 20 people were here and it was all about the pit bull situation. We did not come to any conclusions and basically tabled it for further discussion."

That's when Warmuskerken brought "Cross Check" front and center, complete with a muzzle over its mouth and service animal gear on, to plead with the council to over turn the ordinance. She has already provided council members with information on the breed and the use of vicious dog ordinances instead of pit bull bans.

"I find it very sad," she said. "It seems that 'Bunny' was take away without due process."

Another resident, Mike Erickson, also addressed the council regarding the ordinance. He also had a pit bull taken away. Brown reiterated what he had said earlier, as well as adding additional thoughts.

"We don't want to make the decision based on one person," he said. "We need to do what's best for Baldwin City. We don't want to rush this decision."

However, Mayor Gary Walbridge left little doubt where the city stands in the meantime.

"We will continued to enforce this ordinance," Walbridge said.

In other business, the council approved annexing the historic Santa Fe Trail well into the city limits. It's on Washington Street and dates back to the 1800s. It is owned by the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society and has been in the county.

"One of the concerns that had been expressed is getting an address for 911 capability," said John Jackson, president of the historical society. "We talked to the county and it would be a mess."

He also said that with an address, people searching the Internet for the sight would be able to find it and a map could be provided. The council approved it and the well is now located at 400 Washington Street.

The council also unanimously approved the appointment of David Schaecher to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

City Administrator Jeff Dingman also reminded the council of a meeting Tuesday regarding the city's recently completed comprehensive plan. It will be at 7 p.m. at the Baldwin City Public Library. It's the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission.

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