Pit bull ordinance vetoed in Horicon
By CONNIE DORNFELD/Staff Reporter
HORICON - The watered-down pit bull ordinance, adopted by a 3 to 1 vote of the Horicon City Council Tuesday night, was immediately vetoed by Mayor Jim Grigg.
In taking that action, Grigg pointed out that the original ordinance was proactive.
"We have nothing now until after the fact. This ordinance does not make our residents safer. It is a step backward," Grigg said.
Any council action on the mayor's veto will come at the Nov. 28 meeting when a three-fourths majority vote will be required to override.
If it is overridden, the ordinance is adopted.
Donald Butler, who introduced the original ordinance that subsequently was sent back to the public safety committee three times, cast the sole nay vote.
"I have watched this thing diluted down to almost nothing. It has been a waste of time and money, and all to satisfy seven or eight people. This was meant to be something with teeth in it. What about the rest of the community? This says a dog has to bite to be vicious and has nothing in it about insurance or the dog being muzzled. We are back where we started. I am here to represent the residents of Horicon, not a select few," Butler said.
Three concerned citizens, Jody Westimayer, Teresa Schuett and Dawn Bjork called for the ordinance to be more breed specific. As she had at earlier meetings, Westimayer cited an owner on South Hubbard Street whose pit bull is out all the time without a leash with a 7-year-old girl who cannot control it.
"Consider your vote carefully," she said.
Reporting that her daughter had been chased by a pit bull, Bjork said, "I fear for the safety of our children."
In light of Westimayer's report, Carl Fausett amended the ordinance to call for double penalties for pet owners with more than three citations within 60 days.