When a Denver City Council meeting begins with a question from one council member to another council member about holding meetings on a really hot topic, and the answer is “none,” you know there is a problem.
At-Large council representative Debbie Ortega asked District 8 council representative Chris Herndon, how many meetings did he organize to get feedback from members of the community concerning a move to repeal the ban on pit bulls? He replied that there were no meetings. Uh…
Considering the tension (and a full audience), it was a fairly short discussion, with anger, concerns, and odd comments. But at the end of that part of the meeting, enough city council members voted to support the mayor’s veto. It would have taken a supermajority to override the veto, by 9 to 6. The tally at the end was one shy of the 9 needed, 8 to 5.
A theme throughout was the concern that there are so many pit bulls in Denver despite the ban on them. And, as Herndon has said, the repeal of the ban would “bring the dogs out of the shadows” to be licensed. Totally understandable. What seems to be more important is that all dogs need to be licensed, kept on leash, and be trained. Herndon also was disappointed in the mayor for not talking to him about this proposal before issuing a letter about the veto.
I am not a dog owner, but I live in a neighborhood that can get really dicey. I feel bad for dogs cooped up all day, and then get to walk around the block for maybe 20 minutes. I was a dog owner decades ago, and that dog stayed cooped up way too much. We paid the price. Owners need to realize that dogs are not furry toys. Companionship matters, but so do those of us who might be afraid.
During the meeting, some council members considered putting this item on the November ballot, or bringing it back to committee, or maybe have some meetings to test the waters. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some changes in the language, and then put it on the ballot.
Below are several links to the coverage of last night’s meeting – and a story in The Daily Mail on an actor’s plea to repeal the pit bull ban. He lives in New York, and the “newspaper” is based in the United Kingdom. News travels fast.