Lack of Progress Comments to City Council

It's been about three years since we started the dog park effort, and we still don't have a park even though we have over 1300 signatures of support. Now the City's website tells us it will be the end of 2016 before it's done.

Our fallow dog park.

Tonight TakomaDogs' Joe Edgell addressed the Council to raise the issue of lack of progress and request an update from the City Manager and Council. Below are a copy of Joe's remarks:

  • On July 15, 2013, nearly three years ago, TakomaDogs made its initial presentation to the City Council.  Each member of the Council at the time expressed support for the dog park.
  • About a month later on August 14, TakomaDogs, City Staff, and County staff met on the City’s preferred site for the dog park:  Heffner Park.
  • Both City staff and the County urged construction on this property because it was owned by the City, wouldn’t require any permits, and could be built fast.  While TakomaDogs expressed concern about the topography and the difficulty of construction, we went along with City staff because we were assured time and again that the park would be built quickly.
  • In November of that year, we met with City Manager Kenner, then Deputy City Manager Ludlow, and other City staff.  They assured us that the Heffner Park site was the best site due to the minimal county interaction and the speed with which the park could be constructed.  We were told that the Park would likely be open by the end of the summer 2014 or at the latest the end of the calendar year.
  • 2014 came and went.  No dog park.
  • But City Manager Kenner then promised it would be open by the end of Takoma’s fiscal year—in the middle of 2015.
  • As you know, that date came and went.  Then it was the end of the calendar year, 2015.  Now, here we are nearly half way through 2016 and we still have not broken ground on the dog park.
  • If the County’s the holdup, apply some political pressure and unstick this.  Or ignore the County and just build it, not much they would do about it.  If City staff have other priorities, rearrange their priorities and move the dog park up the list.
  • The City’s website now promises the end of 2016 for the dog park, which means another summer with no dog park.
  • No other petition drive in Takoma Park in recent memory has gathered over 1300 signatures like the dog park.  And this is in the City where 25 angry constituents can change policy.  1300 people.
  • It would be great if the community could get an update tonight during Council and City Manager comments, and it would be great if we could get this park open this Spring so it can be used this summer. 

Feel free to write the City Council and City Manager to encourage them to get a move on. You can use our Take Action Page if you're at a loss for words.