Pet fees generate feedback, citizen involvement

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's an irony of public discourse that we often strain at a gnat while swallowing a camel.

We've noticed it in public meetings where multi-million-dollar expenditures are approved with nary a whisper, while details like the kinds of accessories offered on a new pickup truck turn into an hour of debate.

The controversy over new animal fees probably falls somewhere between the two.

The story "New dog and cat fees advance on first reading" was the most discussed story on mccookgazette.com last week, with 11 online responses out of 26 total (and counting) since the story was posted following the last City Council meeting.

While some comments are overwrought (and we remind online readers to keep their comments civil), a number of good points are made.

Chief among them is the idea that the proposed fees may be too high, especially when compared to those imposed by other Nebraska towns.

We agree, and think funding should be able to be found in other departments without expecting new licensing fees to fund the full price of a new animal control officer position.

Whatever your opinion, the issue comes up for second reading tonight, so time is short to let your councillor know your opinion. Better yet, attend tonight's council meeting.

Citizen involvement, over relatively minor issues like animal control, can pay off when really important issues surface.

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