Ordinance changes: Town to reinstate leash law

Published 9:49 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

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By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

Rob Taylor was voted as Mocksville’s mayor pro tempore by fellow board members.
That means he will be in charge of conducting town business if Mayor Will Marklin isn’t available. Board members unanimously voted Taylor into the position.
New board member, Johnny Frye, was appointed to the Piedmont Triad Regional Council and the transportation advisory committee. Justin Draughn was picked as the alternate.
At the December meeting, the board learned that the town has been without a legal “leash law” since 2017. That’s when the board turned animal control services over to the county and adopted the county’s ordinance. The county does not have a leash law provision, requiring owners to keep their animals under control when off of their property.
Board member Jenny Stevenson asked what would happen if someone was walking a dog, and it inadvertantly got away from them. “We have dogs all the time that are loose in our neighborhood,” she said.
Town Manager Ken Gamble said officers would never cite anyone who was trying to keep their animal under control. The new ordinance will bring back the leash law, and include provisions that would not allow a dog to be “chained” or left alone for a prolonged period of time.
It was one of several ordinance changes before the board, all of which will require a second reading
Some of the town ordinances say violations constitute a misdemeanor offense. State law doesn’t allow that, he said. And on top of that, ordinance violations are rarely if ever prosecuted in criminal courts. “Most DAs (district attorneys) have more pressing matters,” Benshoff said.
All ordinances violations can be prosecuted in civil court, with a few, such as bringing a weapon to a parade, meter tampering and solicitations from roads, suitable for criminal prosecution.
Also, the privilege license tax ordinance was repealed because it can’t be charged, he said. The ordinance changes will require a second vote at the board’s January meeting.
• The board approved paying county staff for certified work at the town’s water and sewer plants, at half the price a contractor would charge, Gamble said. “It’s another step in that close partnership we want with the county.”
• Brooke Brockwell withdrew her petition to have the Rich Park softball field named after Julius Suiter. Gamble said she is taking her plea to the school system to get a site or building named after her father.