Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lucas County (anti) logic

According to today's Blade story, the County Commissioners have decided to increase the dog license fee by $5 to a total of $25. While much will be said about this increase, I'd like to focus on their next item, which is to reopen a dog park in Lucas County.

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?


-Sepp said...

Some "thank-you" that is! Jacking up the price for the privilege to own a dog and tossing in a dog park to boot? Wow! I'll bet the extra 5 bucks is going toward hiring some county employee's idiot kid to check licenses and clean dog "droppings". Who would drive all the way to Maumee to walk their dog when there are already plenty of dog friendly places to to that should you want to drive anywhere.

Heres an idea...instead of screwing the legitimate dog owner who obeys the law, why not jack up the penalties on those who get caught with unlicensed animals...and actually enforce it?

Why not nail the local dogfighters who get caught with 5 pitbulls and hammer them harder?

It's typical Toledo logic at work. Penalize those who do things legally and let the scoflaws off. Why? Because you can actually collect from those who obey the law and there is no work involved in doing it.

Chad said...

At the last City Parks board meeting I attended we had come up with ways to rund a set of 4 local dog parks. Using various vendors and donations, the board has all but negated the City funds end of it. Perhaps the County folks need to step back and let the people with know how do these things.

That and perhaps the right hand should know what the left hand is doing. After all, with the implimentation of the 4 city parks dog parks, there isn't a need for a county funded park.

I have to wonder why the County is getting into the small game, why are they not handling County wide issues? If the county wants to spend money in an effort to help the City of Toledo, start with infrastrucuture like paving and piping.

The lack of Common Sense in our elected body drips from the 22nd floor down.

Maggie said...

-sepp...I don't disagree with your points or your idea, but the commissioners don't have the ability to change the fines.

However, between the County Commissioners Association and the dog warden association, not to mention the municipal league, there's plenty of 'pressure' that can be brought to bear on state legislators to increase the penalties with the money going toward the operation of the dog warden's office - rather than into the local municipal coffers...

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


This sort of twisted funding logic pales in comparison when looking at how twisted and distorted the whole funding process has become, whit an exception here and an alternate appropriation there...

We (City and County) both need to scrap our budget processes and begin over, from scratch, rather that building the next budget by reworking the previously "much bastardized" one.

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