The reasoning for the increase is because the Dog Warden operations are supposed to be, under Ohio law, self-sufficient. While some counties voluntarily support this department with general fund dollars, many do not - including Lucas County. With this perspective, and because the Lucas County Dog Warden's office is spending more than it's taking in, the Commissioners decided to increase the license fee, which will generate around $311,000 of additional revenue.
However, they've also said they're going to spend County general fund dollars to reopen a dog park.
From the article:
"As sort of an apology for the jump in fees, the commissioners said they would move forward with plans to reopen a dog park in Lucas County.
Tina Skeldon Wozniak, the commissioners' president, said she believed two acres are available at the Lucas County Recreation Center for a dog park "at very little cost to the community."
A dog park previously was operated at the county's recreation center, but it closed in 2002, officials said.
Mr. Gerken said a dog park was a way to say thank you to those who follow the law and obtain licenses for their dogs.
Mr. Skeldon said his office issues or renews one dog license for every seven Lucas County residents annually, or more than 60,000 licenses.
"This is a way to show all our legitimate dog owners that we respect them," Mr. Gerken said."
So, if the dog park is way to say thanks to those who get a license, are they going to hire someone to check licenses prior to allowing any dog to enter the park? And is it only going to be open to Lucas County residents? And did anyone think to ask why the old dog park was closed in the first place? Was it because of lack of interest or utilization? Was it because of costs? And what, exactly, is a 'legitimate' dog owner? Are you no longer the legitimate owner of a dog if you don't get a license for your pet?
(I know, I know ... there I go asking all those questions that no one ever wants to answer...)
Now, I don't know about you, but it seems pretty silly to me to say that they're increasing the license fees so they don't spend money from the general fund - only to say they'll spend monies from the general fund to make up for the increase in fees.
Does anyone else have a problem with this kind of logic - or lack thereof?