Many ideas on how to make the City of Payette’s public parks more welcoming to residents and their pets have been discussed at recent City Council meetings this year, and most recently was the proposal to remove a portion of rules that disallowed food at the park for people and their pets.
Prior to the Oct. 21 meeting, a rule was posted stating that ‘human & dog food/treats’ were prohibited at the park. Councilor Alan Massey made the recommendation to strike the rule.
Councilor Craig Jensen expressed concern over ensuring clarity of language in any rewrites of rules pertaining to dogs:
“If we go ahead ... we need to be careful how we word everything,” he said.
Massey, knowing some people already may bring their dogs to parks where they aren’t allowed, restated the need for educating the public on the rules already in place.
“We all know dogs are going to be in the park,” he said.
Mayor Jeff Williams said he agrees that teaching residents about their responsibility regarding their dogs in public parks, instead of relying on officers to write citations.
After discussion, City Council members voted to strike down the rule. The vote was unanimous.
New signs reflecting the rule change is expected to be posted within the week.
Other ideas proposed at the meeting to allow dogs in city parks included:
• Dogs must be on leashes and under owner control at all times;
• Leashes must be no longer in length than 8 feet;
• Retractable and electric leashes are prohibited;
• Owners must pick up and dispose of waste produced by their dog;
• Any dog in the park must be licensed as required by Payette City Code;
• Dogs acting aggressively or causing injury to others shall be removed from the park;
• City staff are authorized to have any dog that is aggressive, menacing, loud or otherwise disturbing to any person, program or event removed; and
• City Council will have the authority to establish publicly owned open spaces in which dogs can be present off leash.
Council member Mike Kee expressed that an enforceable leash standard was needed.
“I don’t care what the standard is. The only thing needed is ... a leash law.”
Presently, dogs are prohibited in city parks, except where signs states otherwise. The city’s dog park is located behind the National Guard Armory and is fenced in.