By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL
Following up on their June 13 meeting, which brought national attention to the community’s debate over Blue, the community dog, members of the Elephant Butte City Council examined a number of proposed revisions to the city’s animal control ordinance during a workshop session Wednesday, June 27.
Utilizing prepared suggestions from the community’s contracted attorney, Chez Rennick, and the legal representative of local Blue supporters, Hilary A. Noskin, council members considered how they might best alter the city’s codes to address similar concerns in the future.
City attorney Rennick said with the exception of canines designated as dangerous or potentially dangerous, his primary efforts focused on removing specific requirements for the physical enclosure of all dogs and shifting responsibility to the animals’ owners as to how they will ensure control.
During the hour-long session, councilors considered aspects of the city’s ordinance regarding animals-at-large, proper enclosures and restraint, the definition of animal control officers, electronic fences and breed specific provisions, among others.
In almost every instance council members agreed with recommendations to eliminate what was deemed to be cumbersome language in favor of more simplified statements that fell in line with existing state regulations.
At the conclusion of the workshop, board members agreed that the proposed changes appeared to be sufficient and directed city manager Alan Briley to proceed with publication of the suggested ordinance revisions. Briley said that the measure would be properly published and otherwise made available for public review, and told the council a formal public hearing would likely be included on the agenda of their regular meeting currently scheduled for July 25.
During her report, Mayor Pro-tem Kim Skinner shared some of the latest efforts aimed at bolstering tourism for Elephant Butte. She outlined her recent attendance at the Governor’s tourism conference and noted that Elephant Butte Lake was currently ranked as the state’s number four attraction, superceded only by …