Verona’s dangerous dog ordinance fails by one vote

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Mayor Heck instructs employees: ‘No overtime’

A dangerous dog ordinance, under discussion for several months by aldermen at the Verona City Council, has failed to pass — by one vote.

The ordinance outlines the definitions and conditions by which an animal is determined to be dangerous, as well as which city officials have the authority to investigate dangerous animal incidents, the hearing process by which the owner can appeal the decision, exemptions to the dangerous dog classification, owner’s responsibilities, non-compliance and impounding.

Aldermen Rodney Bogart and Denise White approved the motion to approve the dangerous dog ordinance revisions, while Alderman Mike Haynes voted no. In the absence of Claude Carr, who resigned his seat earlier this month due to health concerns, the measure failed. Haynes gave no explanation for his nay vote.

For an ordinance to be changed in Verona, the council must have a majority vote of a full council, meaning a 3-1 vote at the least.

Aldermen approved a request that Laura Hazelwood, city clerk, be allowed to purchase stamps, envelopes, and allowing the city clerk to print limited materials, as in years past, for the success of the Verona Christmas Parade and festivities, set to begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 5 at Cannon Park.

In other business, Mayor Joseph Heck advised aldermen that sales tax receipts were down significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he had instructed all city employees there is no overtime allowed. In addition, Police Chief Jereimy Allen’s schedule has been adjusted from 50 hours per week to 45.

Heck requested the purchase of up to $800 for an AR-15 rifle for the police department, citing the five-shot pump-action shotgun currently used by the department inadequate in today’s law enforcement environment.

“We have a school, so what if someone goes in with a 30-round clip and our officer only has five shots?” he said.

Bogart questioned officers on their familiarity with that type of firearm, and were assured they have undergone annual training with the sheriff’s office.

The measure was approved with Bogart and White voting for the purchase and Haynes voting against.

White made a motion to allow Heck to sign a contract with Orville Maples to serve as the city’s sewer plant operator, which was unanimously approved.

The monthly council meeting schedule was adjusted to Nov. 30, and Dec. 28, to accommodate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, respectively.

When voting to adjourn the meeting, only Haynes objected, and the measure passed.

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