Friday, May 2, 2014

Five Signs in Search of a Setting

As Gossips predicted, there's an article by John Mason in today's Register-Star about the "No Dogs Allowed" signs recently installed at the cemetery: "City graveyard closed to dogs." It is recommended reading. From it, a picture emerges of our mayor with five "No Dogs Allowed" signs on his hands, poring through the city charter and other rules and regulations, desperately seeking a place from which he can legitimately ban dogs. He seems to have found what he was looking for in a twelve-page document entitled Rules and Regulations of the Hudson City and Cedar Park Cemeteries, created by the Cemetery Commission of the City of Hudson--a commission that no longer exists.

The mayor is quoted in the article as saying, "Not only do I execute the laws of the city of Hudson, but any rules and regulations of the city. This is a rule and regulation." If the mayor executes, one wonders who enforces. Perhaps, with his background in law enforcement, the mayor intends to do that himself. 

The mayor also implies that the only person who can change the rules and regulations at the cemetery is Rob Perry, identified in the article as "DPW Commissioner." Actually, Perry is superintendent of Public Works--an employee of the city not an official. Although he hasn't appeared at a Public Works Committee meeting in years, Jim Folz, rumored to be Rick Scalera's brother-in-law, who was appointed Commissioner of Public Works in the summer of 2007, still, according to the city website, holds that position.

Despite the lamentable turn of events it reports for dogs and their owners, the article is something of a milestone for The Gossips of Rivertown. This may be the first time the mayor and the Register-Star have publicly acknowledged Gossips' existence.


  1. The Register is always a a day late and a dollar more, you're eating their lunch...

  2. The mayor pontificates that he "can't deviate from [the city code]."

    But earlier in the same article he admits he'd done just that at the 7th Street Park, where he unilaterally invented a prohibition and ordered an action before finding out that he had, in fact, deviated from the code.

    Ah, but here we're been favoured with an explanation as to the permissibility of certain deviations:

    The mayor may make up laws “until such time as [he] concludes" that he's in the wrong.

    If this isn't directly from Orwell's "Animal Farm," then it ought to be. (POTUS take note!)

    The same thing happened at the Promenade Park last summer that just occurred at the 7th Street Park, but way back then the public couldn't have cared less.

    On that occasion I brought the mayor's deviation from the city charter and code to the attention of the Common Council President. Visibly exasperated, Mr. Moore exclaimed that "that law is over 200 years old!" That is to say, disregarding laws on the basis of their age is perfectly self-explanatory and natural.

    Again, this was like something out of "Animal Farm," except that in the City of Hudson discretionary authoritarianism (/anarchy) is actual and measurable “until such time as" our betters in City Hall deem otherwise.

    And yet I can't stop thinking that we get the bone-chilling government that we deserve.

  3. If I was dead and pushing up daisies in the cemetery, I'd be delighted to have a dog pee on my grave once in awhile.

  4. I am very upset about this. A lifelong Hudsonian (the friendly city) I walk my dog and visit my parents' grave almost daily -- my father was also a dog lover. My dog quietly sits on his side, knowing my mother was not a fan but was tolerant. The cemetery is a peaceful and beautiful place to walk. It is full of loved ones who also cherished their pets, as we do! Some cultures even consider their pets and certain animals sacred, so I firmly believe it is a place for all. It gives good visibility if a dog owner wants to change their pace if a car, children, or other dogs are coming, and your dog is reserved and a bit anxious, as mine is. I don't see a problem, and feel that since there is no dog park in Hudson, dog walkers are not allowed at the school, the street is not always a good choice, and we pay nicely in taxes, this should be reversed. If there need to be conditions, yes, folks should abide by those. Please pay attention to the voting public on this issue!

    I have started to make calls and will write some emails tonight.

  5. Norma, this struck a cord in me. My Grandmother and her sister, my great-aunt, are buried there and I know they would like to have me visit with my dog, Reba.

  6. It may come down to the question: are you walking a dog or are you visiting a grave? Btw, I like dogs. As a youngster (born in Hudson as was my father) from 1951 up to my pre-teens my parents walked us to the cemetery every Sunday to visit my father's family members. It was enjoyable for us kids, and later in life it took on the more sacred meaning that my parents had for it. We never had a dog to walk. As a kid, dogs roamed the streets and steaming poops were often near meters on the street. My father was chased down by a group of them one day. And of course, there was nothing worse than stepping in it. Hudson has been there - done that. Which brings me to those who are sly and let their dog go anyway, thinking no one is watching. What happened/s here in Eastport (reminds me of Hudson in the 50's) is that people with second homes come for a warm season, or visit and many do not pick up after their dogs, as locals know to do. Maybe Hudson can issue the local dog owners 'dog allowed permits' to walk in the cemetery and make some funds off of this? If you have a permit to do so, great. Enforceable and responsible. I think many who are not locals might be walking their dogs and not care as much as those who live there year round. A permit is a win-win, imo. Permit owners will be vigilant. They will be the enforcers in a sense. Even those abusing the situation will come aware of a permit for walking in the beautiful and most sacred cemetery of all sects. I do not like thinking that my family is being peed on or pooped on.. those are hallowed grounds... but I might say ok with a permit and a clean it up mentality.
    PS. just an aside, as I recall, Jimmy Folz was/is one of the sweetest guy's I ever knew in Hudson. Hello to all my old pals from way back then.

    1. Is anyone organizing to change the no dogs law? I know a number of people who are very upset over the ban, but I do not know anyone being pro-active. I would get involved if I knew where to start. Hudson wants to be known as the friendly city, putting up more signs that start with the word no is not going to help.

  7. The only law we need is already on the books, though you'll never hear it spoken of:

    "§70-4(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to walk a dog on a leash or otherwise accompnay a dog without a device suitable to cause the removal of the stools of such dog's defecation for sanitary disposal under this regulation."

    It should be expected of every officer to ask no more than one dog-walker per shift if they have such a device, also known as a plastic bag. (To be precise, walkers should have 2 plastic bags for obvious reasons.)