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March 10, 2012
Salem News

Commends those who backed city ordinance

To the editor:

I would like to commend city council members for passing the ordinance limiting the number of dogs and cats allowed in a residence.

Perhaps Councilman Brian Whitehill, who voted against the ordinance, would change his mind if he lived where we do. New neighbors moved in with eight to 10 dogs. When one dog started barking, the others would join in. It would last for a half hour or so. What would Councilman Whitehill do at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., night after night, to stop this intrusion?

Like the councilman, I own two dogs. What would he do when his dogs joined the early morning chorus, waking his entire family? Night after night. At two in the morning! How many nights in a row will he need to be awakened before he realizes owning that many dogs in a residential neighborhood is just not a good idea? Is the councilman equally upset that government has placed stop signs at intersections he'd rather just drive through?

Many rules of living in a society are common sense. When individual citizens abuse those rules and negatively impact the lives of others, good government should step in. If I were a constituent of Councilman Whitehill, I would certainly remember in November his unwillingness to protect my basic interests with this "unnecessary piece of legislation."


More on the 'dangerous legislation'

To the editor:

Addressing the cities new ordinance on pets:

Let me start by saying that I'm very happy that one of our members of council has enough sense to oppose such dangerous legislation. I do not know Mr. Whitehill, but high five to you sir.

I'm sure you noticed, I labeled this legislation dangerous. It sets a scary precedent for the people, essentially saying that government can put a cap on what you can do with the fruits of your labor. Surely, something such as cats and dogs is rather insignificant. However, as I stated, it sets a precedent, the likes of which we've seen abused by government at all levels for decades. Does it stop with cats and dogs, or will the council someday cite this piece of legislation as a means to cap the number of cars you can own? The number of children you can have? The amount trees you can plant on your private property?

I am not an advocate of having five cats and dogs, in any combination. Personally, I think that's a little nutty. However, I do not see what jurisdiction the city has to put a cap on the number of pets you may have. What I do see, and I am making an assumption here, is likely a knee-jerk, emotional reaction to some issue regarding someone having too many pets. But how many people will this legislation effect, as far as pets go? Is this really a growing problem in our city? Is this something that our service men will be expected to enforce? What will happen to the animals if someone is found to be over the cap? I again return to the prospect of this setting precedent for more dangerous legislation in the future. None of this seemed to be addressed, at least in the article - I did not attend the council meeting.

I vehemently oppose this act, on the grounds that I'm not certain it's even legal and if it is, I worry of the said precedent that it sets. Folks, this may seem like a minor issue, but it's time to take back OUR government. Legislation such as this does nothing to increase your freedom, or your rights, or protect you. It does the opposite, it limits your freedom, your rights and increases the potential for the government to have the ability to harm you. I am not insinuating that any member of council acted in a deceitful manner here, however, in the world we live in today, I'm not certain how many people are awake to the things our Constitution says our lawmakers can and can't do - even our lawmakers themselves.




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