Begging has become the norm at council meetings since April as an organized group of residents fights to overturn the city’s ban on pit bull dogs.
Council’s safety committee met at 5:30 p.m. Monday for 90 minutes and heard for 30 minutes from a dozen of the about 50 people in attendance.
City Administrator Donald W. Martin delivered a report detailing different city laws banning, partially banning and allowing pit bulls with registration. Doing nothing, and leaving the ban in place is also an option, Martin said. The safety committee had a second meeting Monday to discuss allowing pit bulls in the city and lifting the 1988 ban. Those in the audience spoke both in support of the ban and for ending it.
Committee chairman Thomas R. Lampe said there is an ordinance in place that provides safety, and the committee needs to continue discussion without making any recommendations yet.
“There’s no need to rush,” Lampe said.
Preston Manning of Altamont Lane said he started going door to door with a petition to keep the ban on pit bulls. Manning said he gathered 271 names.
That is until a loose pit bull approached him a month ago in his own driveway where his 4-year-old daughter plays. Manning said he was not aware of council’s discussion about possibly repealing the ban.
“It’s about what the residents in Fort Thomas want, and what makes them feel safe at the end of the day,” Manning said.
Resident Robert Masters said it seems like a group of people that doesn’t necessarily represent all of the city is leading the discussion.
“We seem to have an ordinance in place that works,” Masters said. “Why change it?”
Deborah Weeks of Amelia, Ohio, brought her 10-year-old pit bull and service dog Buddy to the meeting. Weeks said she is disabled, and Buddy helps her reach items and get up from the ground when she falls. The city needs to consider service dogs in the discussion, she said.
“I worry about where I go that he may be taken away from me, and they may not know the federal law that allows me to have him,” Weeks said.