Thursday, May 1, 2014

Watch This Spot

Now you see 'em . . . 

Now you don't . . . 

All the "No Dogs Allowed" signs in the Public Square (a.k.a. Seventh Street Park) disappeared in the early hours of the morning and were replaced by signs reminding dog walkers that they must pick up after their dogs. Even the sign warding off vagabond dogs entering the park by train has disappeared. How this came to pass is not known. Did the mayor change his mind? Did he realize that posting a sign does not make it so? Was there a misunderstanding about the nature of the signs he wanted installed? Whatever happened to bring it about, this is a gift horse we probably shouldn't be looking in the mouth.

There's one cloud on the horizon though for canine rights. Gossips has received word that "No Dogs Allowed" signs have now been installed at the cemetery.


  1. Just as the mayor didn't have the power to declare dogs off limits in 7th Street Park, he exceeds his power by posting them in the cemetery. The Common Council has exclusive jurisdiction over this issue via the City Charter and as it is implemented via the City Code. The Council has determined that dogs may be in the possession of their keeper anywhere in the City provided (i) they are on a leash of not more than 6', (ii) the keeper is properly kitted out to scoop the poop should the same be deposited by that keeper's charge, and (iii) they not be in Riverfront Park. The basic rule of thumb is, the legislature makes the laws and the executive branch enforces them. It is neither the other way around, nor are these functions conflated within a single branch of government. That's the US Constitution's mandate.

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  3. Note of clarification: dogs need not be on lease on the keeper's property, and keepers need not scoop the poop on their own property unless and until it becomes a public health hazard or nuisance (when that happens I'm not hazarding a guess!).

  4. As long as we're clarifying everyone's powers, the Common Council also has exclusive jurisdiction over certain properties via the City Charter and the City Code

    Among other properties which have been owned by the Common Council, the Promenade Park is truly a people's park.

    Most other parks are "city parks," which means they're managed by the mayor.

  5. I should have said, "exclusive jurisdiction to modify ..."