Exchanges heated as Hobart officials, residents debated dog ordinance, decorum

2012-06-20T22:02:00Z 2012-06-29T16:59:06Z Exchanges heated as Hobart officials, residents debated dog ordinance, decorumBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The heat was on at the City Council meeting Wednesday night. Residents lobbied for a stricter dog ordinance and council members discussed proper decorum of one of their own.

Sherryl Doerr, who became visibly emotional at the end of her request, asked the council to consider changing the dog ordinance to include better enforcement.

The council agreed to discuss possible changes at the Ordinance Committee meeting at 5 p.m. July 18.

"Enforcement is key," Doerr said.

Doerr came to the meeting with several other residents who have experienced attacks by pit bulls on their pets.

One of the residents included Melissa Blake, Doerr's daughter.

Doerr said she's singling out pit bulls because her daughter, Blake, watched helplessly a few months ago while her pet dog was killed by a pit bull in the backyard.

"Don't wait until someone's child is killed," Doerr said.

City Councilman David Vinzant, D-4th, agreed the dog ordinance should be revisited.

"This is an issue we need to look at, including making the ordinance more enforceable," Vinzant said.

Following Doerr's request, Vinzant chastised the actions of City Councilman Pete Mendez, D-2nd, on June 7 at a Lake Station City Council meeting.

Mendez said he had gone to the Lake Station meeting because he owns property there and wanted to discuss an issue he has with stormwater sewer fees.

"What did I do wrong?" Mendez asked.

"You were disruptive," Vinzant said.

Mayor Brian Snedecor said city officials must keep in mind they're ambassadors for the city and always under scrutiny.

Two Lake Station City Council members, Todd Rogers and Harry Pedroza Jr., also attended the Hobart meeting.

Rogers, who spoke briefly, agreed Mendez had been disruptive but he came to assure Hobart officials he wants to work with them.

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