Trenton Administrative Committee discusses the breed-specific dog ban

Trenton, Missouri

Trenton’s Administrative Committee on Tuesday night voted two to one against repealing the breed-specific dog ordinance.

This recommendation will be forwarded to the Monday night meeting of the full Trenton City Council. Committee members voting to keep the current ordinance were David Mlika and Danny Brewer. Voting to repeal the ordinance was Robert Romesburg. Kevin Klinginsmith was absent.

Attending the committee meeting to again request a repeal was Kalley Erickson who presented what she called a statement from the Green Hills Animal Shelter manager that asked, in part, for the council to review the breed-specific dog ordinance. When questioned, Erickson said four dogs housed at the shelter are breeds that can not be adopted by residents within Trenton because of the current ordinance. She also indicated there are 20 on what she called a “waiting list” for owners who wish to surrender their dogs to the shelter if and when there’s space for them.

Trenton animal control officer Les Spickard was present to answer questions and said he believes the ordinance has done some good over the 15 years of its existence. Spickard noted if someone sustains a dog bite and seeks medical treatment, that doctor and/or hospital is required to report the incident to the local police and the county health department. Through the years, Spickard said he has seen fewer “vicious” dogs in Trenton, likely due to age and possibly provisions of the ordinance; however, there are more “service” dogs that are assisting their owners.

In discussing their votes, Mlika said he’s not against dogs but favored leaving the ordinance as is, noting owners have to be responsible and treat their dogs fairly. Brewer said all six phone calls he’s had were against a repeal and said the callers have children in their household.

Romesburg, during the discussion at last weeks’ city council meeting, explained nearly all of the 30 replies to his social media survey were favoring a repeal of the breed-specific dog ordinance. Mlika, Brewer, and Romesburg are three of the eight-member city council that’s expected to discuss the topic at the next meeting.

City Administrator Ron Urton presented for committee discussion, the topic of removing snow from bridge sidewalks. The Missouri Department of Transportation owns and does maintenance on the driving portion of the 9th Street bridge. The city of Trenton owns the 17th and 22nd street bridges. One option discussed was to seek bids on snow removal from the bridge sidewalks. But no one bid last year when the task was advertised for the 9th Street bridge.

Committee members took no action, citing potential liability concerns, and noting other sidewalks owned by the city don’t get cleared from snow. The committee also was informed of a request that Urton said came from the school district to consider building sidewalks along Highway 6 to assist children from four households in safely boarding school buses. It was noted the highway belongs to the state and the city of Trenton does not own any of the right of way there. It was pointed out, the city through the years has received requests for sidewalks in many locations in Trenton but did not have the money for them.