Budget Committee member Mark Aronson raised concerns about the proposed dog park to his fellow committee members, and fellow member Dana Coons offered his own worries.
Prefacing his remarks by saying he is a dog lover, Aronson told the committee at its Thursday, May 22 meeting, “The last time I went to the Derry dog park, it cost me $600 in vet bills because of an irresponsible person. (The proposed dog park) is adding a risk that is unnecessary and it’s not a good idea. All the dog professionals I know don’t believe in dog parks. They said they’re too dangerous, they’re totally unregulated and the pack mentality takes over. We should say that we don’t approve.”
“My two cents is I really don’t have any issues with it as long as the people who use it are going to take care of it,” Coons responded. “My fear is going to be the same thing that happened with Trailways – they got the town to go along and get a grant and build something that was supposed to be three-season, and the next time we turn around they say we have to have the town plow it. I’m afraid that’s going to happen with the dog park. They’ll get it going and all of a sudden, ‘we need the town to do this, we need the town to do that,’ and I’m sorry, I’m sick and tired of these groups wanting everything and then coming back and we need the taxpayers to pay for all of it.”
Coons said special interest groups that want particular things should “step up to the plate, take care of it with their own money.”
Chairman Ted Combes asked if any budget committee member would volunteer to be liaison to the Dog Park Committee. He had no takers.
Committee member Bill Mee said the Dog Park Committee charter called for a Budget Committee liaison.
Committee member Gary Vermillion suggested waiting until the next meeting when more members might be in attendance to bring it up again, and Mee suggested inviting the Dog Park Committee to a Budget Committee meeting. “They could present a sales pitch to us,” Combes said.
Coons said that he had read press reports that stated the Dog Park Committee did not wish to have the taxpayers pay for anything so there was no need for a liaison.