Sunday, August 1, 2010

What is going on at Winter Park?

The Mayor is asking lawmakers to "let a sleeping dog lie." But some City Commissioners want to wake it back up. It’s been going back and forth for two years. What could be worthy of so much attention? Property taxes? Impact studies? Rooting out corruption from within?

Nope. The kerfuffle seems to be over allowing dogs in the parks of Winter Park. Last week, the Commissioners voted down an ordinance 3-2 that would have banned canines from Mead Garden, Kraft Azalea Garden and Dinky Dock Park.

Issue resolved? Nope. A few of the same Commissioners turned right around and agreed to discuss the issue again at their next meeting August 9.

Why? Allegedly concerned with "environmental protection," the city’s Parks and Recreation commission had originally recommended the ban include all city parks and some officials think the matter has just...not been...talked about...enough.

Despite the rejection this week of the ban, a couple of commissioners want to keep animals "from streets next to Central Park when they are closed as part of special park events." But Winter Park’s current ordinance already bans dogs on "streets, rights of way, or sidewalks next to Central Park that are closed to vehicles during special events." Do environmental concerns just apply to times the city is making money from people?

This leaves us confused. It really seems the interests of businesses rather than residents are behind this, and the whole thing borders on harassment of specific law-abiding, tax-paying, dog-accompanying residents. We agree with the one city commissioner who piped up this past week and asked, "At what point do we give this up and talk about something else?"

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