Is a work session really needed?
Yazoo history may record them as the “do nothing” board.
Months after Board Attorney Sarah O’Reilly-Evans offered the Mayor and Board of Aldermen examples of ordinances dealing with dangerous dogs from around the state, not one member has even made a proposal.
With some citizens begging for protection and numerous complaints of problems with unsecured pit bulls and other potentially dangerous dogs around the city, the best the board can do is schedule a work session.
That suggests that they haven’t taken a second look at the ordinances O’Reilly-Evans presented. I studied ordinances and even offered my analysis within the same week. I certainly don’t expect the board to agree with all of my observations, but I do expect them to at least examine the material enough to form an opinion of their own.
After this much time, the suggestion of a work session (no firm date was set, by the way) is just sad.
It would be one thing if this was an issue of no consequence, but it could literally be a life or death matter. Ward 4 Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. has pushed the issue, but he has been alone in his stand.
In a recent column I highlighted the number of vicious pit bull attacks around the nation this year. It was just a sample of the reported incidents designed to show that it can happen to anyone anywhere.
We are especially sensitive to the issue here at The Yazoo Herald because we’ve experienced the problem firsthand. A pit bull in the neighborhood that frequently escapes from its yard has on more than one occasion showed up growling at our employees. Once I caught it hiding at the corner of the building growling at an approaching customer. If we had not taken action, who knows what might have happened?
On that occasion we called 911 only to be told that animal control was gone for the weekend. On another the dog was gone by the time the officer arrived, and he informed us that there was nothing he could do.
Several times the board has heard from a lady who lives in fear of pit bulls allowed to roam free in her neighborhood by irresponsible owners.
What if something happens to her or anyone else in Yazoo? Will a work session be needed to come up with an excuse? How will the city deal with the litigation that is sure to follow?
The best argument that I’ve heard against creating a new ordinance, and I still am convinced that tougher rules are required to deal with a problem that didn’t exist at the time the current ordinance was established, is Alderman Jack Varner’s statement that the city should just enforce the existing law.
That would be a great start, but when is it going to happen?