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Dog park receives new life

Clintonville council reconsiders prior vote

By Bert Lehman

After two previous defeats, the concept of a dog park in Clintonville has been approved by the Clintonville City Council.

On April 14, the council voted 5-2 to “approve the idea” of a dog park.” The motion didn’t pass because it needed six votes.

The issue was brought to the council again on June 9. This time the council voted 5-3 to approve starting fundraising for a dog park. Again, the motion didn’t pass because it needed six votes.

Reconsideration of the vote to start fundraising for the dog park was on the agenda at the July 13 council meeting. Only a council member who voted no on the original motion could bring it back to a vote.

Alderman Jim Krause voted no, and told the council he was concerned about the amount of money a dog park would cost and the amount of money already collected.

Interim City Administrator Chuck Kell said it was his understanding that approximately $9,000 has been committed to the dog park so far.

“Those fundraising efforts stopped after the last council vote,” Kell said.

Kell added that those who want to raise money for a dog park are committed to raising $30,000 to cover the construction as well as maintenance of the dog park for several years.

Kell recommended approval of the concept of a dog park, but construction isn’t authorized until the funds are raised and collected.

Procedurally Kell said the motion to reconsider had to come from Krause or Alderman Brad Rokus because they voted no on the original motion. Rokus was excused from the meeting.

Krause said he is not opposed to a dog park, but he didn’t want to see taxpayers burdened with the cost. He said he would reconsider once the funds are raised.

Alderman Steve Kettenhoven said people won’t donate money if the concept of a dog park hasn’t already been approved by the council.

“Why would you consider going out and asking people for money if a year from now the council says, ‘No, we’re not going to do it,’” Kettenhoven asked.

Krause said he wanted an assurance that the city wouldn’t be responsible for any of the dog park costs.
Alderwoman Gloria Dunlavy asked how money can be raised if those raising the money don’t know for sure if the city will approve a dog park once the money is raised.

Kell told the council that it could place a stipulation in the motion that construction will not proceed until the fundraising goal is met.

Alderwoman Jeannie Schley said the council should move on with the agenda if Krause wasn’t going to bring the motion to reconsider the vote.

Krause said as long as there was a stipulation the city wouldn’t pay for any of the dog park, he would make the motion to reconsider.

Council President Lois Bressette, who was presiding over the meeting because Mayor Judy Magee was excused due to health reasons, said Krause, Rokus or Alderman John Wilson were the only ones who could bring the motion to reconsider. Rokus and Wilson were excused from the meeting.

Clerk Treasurer Peggy Wilson said Rokus had asked that the item be placed on the agenda because he was going to bring the motion to reconsider.

Kell added that the reconsideration had to take place at the meeting immediately following the meeting in which the motion failed to pass.

Kettenhoven said he thought all those in favor of the dog park would be fine with the stipulation that construction doesn’t begin until all funds are collected.

“The city has to do absolutely nothing, just sit back and wait,” Dunlavy said. “… It’s kind of sad when one council member has control of everything.”

Dunlavy asked Kell what would happen if the vote wasn’t reconsidered and the donations were collected to construct and maintain a dog park.

Kell said the council would still have to approve a dog park if it is on city land.

Krause said he would reconsider the motion if it was stipulated a certain amount of money had to be raised before any construction began.
City Attorney April Dunlavy said first a motion to reconsider the vote had to be made, then a motion could be made approving the dog park.
Krause asked who decides the dollar amount in the second motion.
April Dunlavy said any council member can make the motion once the motion to reconsider has been passed. She said it was time to make the reconsider motion or move on with the meeting.
Krause made a motion to reconsider the vote on the dog park. It passed 8-0.
Immediately after the reconsideration motion passed, Gloria Dunlavy made a motion to approve fundraising and the concept for a dog park. Schley seconded the motion. No stipulation about a dollar amount that needed to be raised was placed in the motion.
The motion passed 6-2 with Krause and Alderwoman Mary-Beth Kuester voting no.

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