Sunday, January 7, 2018

Legislation and Dogs

Tomorrow at 4 p.m., Mayor Rick Rector will hold a public hearing before acting on an amendment to Section 70-4 of the city code to allow dogs to be present in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.

Also tomorrow, at the informal Common Council meeting, which takes place shortly after 7 p.m., following the organizational meeting, the new Council will receive Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton's veto of the resolution passed by the previous Council expressing "its opposition to the construction of a dog park at Charles Williams Park" and recommending "that the Mayor explore constructing a dog park at another location." The mayor's veto, which was issued on December 20, 2017, reads in part:
In October of this year [2017], after evaluating every available green space owned by the City of Hudson, I, in consultation with others, determined that the Charles Williams Park was the most logical location for a dog park based on, amongst other things, the following factors:
  • Charles Williams Park has the most available green space of any park within the City limits;
  • The original design for Charles Williams Park contemplates the inclusion of a fenced-in area for dogs;
  • Charles Williams Park is markedly underutilized by the majority of Hudson's citizens;
  • Residents of Mill Street have raised the issue of nefarious activities taking place in the park;
  • Increased use of Charles Williams Park will act as a deterrent for those wishing to use the park for illicit activities;
  • There is parking available at the end of Mill Street near the entrance to Dugway Road, as well as available street parking (all homes have driveways);
  • As with all other streets in the City, Mill Street is a public thoroughfare, open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic;
  • While there can be a conversation with residents regarding the dog park rules and any safety concerns, it is important to bear in mind that Charles Williams Park is a public amenity funded by all of Hudson's taxpayers, and full use and enjoyment of the park should be encouraged;
  • In the City's densely-populated two square miles, every resident experiences pedestrian and vehicular traffic--including in some areas heavy truck traffic--passing by their homes, and is surrounded by other homes, businesses, parks, schools, churches, healthcare facilities, etc.;
  • As has been documented in countless studies, dog parks provide many social benefits to communities; and
  • Roughly $14,000 of private funds have been raised specifically to construct a dog park, providing the community with a highly desired amenity at no cost to the taxpayers (the park will continue to be mowed, as it is now, by DPW).

If the Council decides to vote on overriding the mayor's veto, that vote would not happen until the regular monthly meeting of the Council on Tuesday, January 16.


  1. Thanks to former Mayor, Tiffany Martin Hamilton, for listing so many reasons why Charles Williams Park is the best location for a dog park. Perhaps adding enforcement of the pick-up law to the designation of this space for the dog park will satisfy residents in the neighborhood. Nine people should not hold 6,500 hostage.

  2. I remain puzzled how the resolution has any legal effect, and for that matter the veto given the legal irrelevance of the resolution. A resolution is not an ordinance, and unless the code authorized the council to take action by resolution, my impression is that its contents are but a mere sentiment.

    Is there somebody more expert than I am on all of this to help me out? Thanks.