I understand that you are considering requiring leashes on dogs on all beaches from 11-2 during the off-season. I hope that you will reconsider this idea for the following reasons:
-The new spring and summer rules are taking away a huge amount of “off-leash” time already. Taking away 3 prime hours in the middle of the day on every beach every day in the off-season is unfair.
-The majority of the people who use the beaches in the off-season are dog walkers. When I am on Pine Point with my dog in the off-season, I see very few people there who don’t have dogs with them. “Leash only” hours in the off season is unfair to the majority of people who use the beach in the off-season and to the majority of the people in town who voted against leashes year-round in the referendum.
-Much of the time, during the off season, the beach is practically deserted. There have been many times when I’ve seen maybe 3 people the entire time I’ve been there. That’s because (due to my work schedule) I go weekdays only, when the tide is low during the day (often during the very time that you are considering requiring leashes.) For instance, I could go on a Tuesday in November at 1 pm when the tide is low and the beach is deserted except for a few dog walkers. It doesn’t make any sense to require that I keep my dog on a leash at that time.
I am not against having places and times where dogs are not allowed or where dogs must be leashed. I sympathize with people who don’t want strange dogs approaching them. But there already are such places in Scarborough (including beaches), year-round.
The additional restrictions you are considering are overkill. There has already been so much compromise in the Spring and Summer. Please just leave the rest of the year alone and keep the rules as they are.
Councilor Blaise: No response
Councilor Benedict: No response
Councilor Caterina: Response, 3/9/2014
Thank you, Catherine. I can understand your concern about the on leash time during the so called off season. However, in fairness to all who use the beaches, the element of having time for people who are concerned about dogs was introduced by the Ad Hoc Committee. We agreed as a Council that that element would remain in our final recommended rules.
Please know that you are always welcome to make your concerns known as you have through this email and by speaking at the meetings where we will be having readings of the proposed ordinance . No one is happy with all of the elements of the proposed ordinance, but that is the nature of compromise. No one wins everything. Everyone wins something.
Thank you again for reaching out. I am happy to listen to all sides of an issue while I formulate my final vote.
Scarborough Town Council
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Councilor Donovan: No response
Councilor Holbrook: No response
Councilor St. Clair: No response
Councilor Sullivan: No response