Minutes of Annual Meeting FETCH DOG PARK October 16, 2012
Danville Public library Meeting Room 6 PM
The annual meeting of the Fetch Dog Park Advisory Group was called to order at 6PM
Attendees: Leadership Team and members 21 total absent because of prior commitment Steve Lane
Reading and Approval of the Minutes
The meeting was opened by JMason. All present introduced themselves. The April, May, July Leadership Team minutes were reviewed with the principal issues summarized. Those issues were
- Development of protocol and forms to report incidents at the Park and appeals form along with review of our Letter of Agreement with the city of Danville. All now on our web site
- Design, purpose and scheduling of radio program to promote the park
- Study and discussion of merger proposal of city/county animal control and adoption. DJacobs has taken a leadership role
- Training, supply and case discussions of Ranger functions.
- Dog training class experience
After discussion of the summary the minutes were approved as printed on our web site.
EGrzelak presented the Treasurers report. After much effort she obtained a printout from the city Treasures office. We now have a balance of $10,277.81. This figure includes payments for Neuhoff Broadcasting ($825), clutch for mower-parts only ($475.62), and annual web site fee (first time ($118.00). It includes receipts of HS tag sales ($708), cookbook sales/donations ($1575.00). Costs not included but presented by DJacobs for gas, fertilizer, ranger training gear will be around $1500.00 leaving our balance at around $8800.00. Without any unusual expenses it appears that the $1500 amount is what will be needed for annual minimal maintenance. The web site continues to popular and useful. It averages about 75 hits per day and has all our important information. It is very easy to navigate. Thanks to Steve Foster. These figures were discussed and the treasurer’s report was accepted.
Incident Reports and Resolution
Three significant incidents at the park were discussed and their resolution presented
- Dec 2011 A member brought a dog to the park that was in heat-he considered that the rule forbidding this was not important. At Rangers insistence he departed in a state of anger. He was sent a RRR letter outlining the serious nature of this rule and spay/neutering was recommended. On receipt of the letter the matter was later discussed with the Ranger and satisfactory resolution occurred. JMason
- Aug 20 A man and boy were in the park with two dogs (no Fetch tags) that became very aggressive a member and her dog. They refused to exercise control over the dogs and used abusive language directed to the member. No Rangers were present but the member reported the incident. The party was identified and a RRR letter sent with a copy of rule book and a reminder the park was for all to enjoy. If they wanted to use the park they should purchase tags and obey the rules. It is their responsibility to control their dogs. JMason
- Sep 3 2 men were in the park talking and restraining the dogs on leash. When approached by a Ranger asking why on leash one of the men (whose dog had a tag) became angry and verbally abusive to the ranger talking to the other man whose dog did not have a tag. Another Ranger came on the scene and at the request of the first Ranger took over the matter. A letter was sent citing violation of 3 rules and a warning that further incidents could result in banishment. SHoughton, JLinville
- Sept/Oct 2012 Unresolved. Investigation ongoing A member went to enter the park when she noted a Rottweiler pup in the park just outside of the holding area with a metal collar with prominent spikes on it. She asked the man to remove it so her dog could play with the pup (avoiding injury) and he refused and became threatening and very foul mouthed. He also stated he was training the dog to be an attack dog. The dog did not appear to have a tag. The member wisely left. She was unable to get a license number on the large gray/white pickup. This unacceptable behavior was discussed. The member could consider putting in a call to 911. This would have been acceptable and would have established that a citizen in our city park (Espenscheid) was being threatened. The general feeling was that establishment of a “paper trail” might have benefit.
Efforts are ongoing to identify the party and bring some resolution. It is important that we make strong efforts to report incidents like this to members of the Leadership Team and get as much information as possible. The involved member was at the meeting so the incident could be discussed thoroughly. Our backup is the Humane Society and the Police Dept.
One of the members stated that occasionally a car will pull into the parking lot and just sit there-no dog. At times this can be disconcerting if you are there alone. We encourage members to schedule their visits so as to meet others but in situations like this one must be alert and recognize we are in a park and some might enjoy the beauty and quiet while having coffee or lunch.
During the course of the above discussions it became apparent that having access to the park for tag members only utilizing either a padlock or the electronic access key card need to be considered. For security purposes it was the opinion of the group to pursue this option and evaluate costs. The Leadership Team will investigate and evaluate. At some point a security camera will also be added by the city
The mowing expense, labor, and equipment was discussed by DJacobs who has been almost singlehandedly doing all the chores. This also includes spraying for undesirable weeds. We all thank him for the wonderful job. Dr. Tom Halloran has applied the fertilizer with his equipment from the soccer field and does not charge for his labor. At present the park is in beautiful shape but there are areas at the gates into the small dog park that small dogs can get out by squeezing through. This effort is being addressed by DJacobs. It may require making the gates one-way only. Key card entry discussed above
The feasibility of a maintenance committee was mentioned but died from lack of interest.
The web site continues to be important and averages about 75 hits a day.
A new member stated that he heard about the park only by accident. It was his feeling that attractive posters placed in high traffic areas such as veterinary offices, grocery stores should be productive in getting the word out. A small pamphlet near the poster telling about the park and how to join would be part of the promotion. After discussion it was felt this was a great idea and should be pursued. SHoughton and EGrzelak agreed to work on its development and would like to utilize some of the graphics and designs used by Kathy Mason in the development of our rule book. They particularly want to use the Fetch logo with paw print in the “e”.
The feasibility of increasing the cost of tags to use the park was discussed in depth. With the possibility of developing a key card access and its added expense all agreed that present fee could be increased by a nominal amount. The Leadership Team will put this item on upcoming agendas after gaining more information on the key card system.
DJacobs briefly discussed his role in the Danville/Vermilion County proposed merger of its animal control/adoption arrangement and facility. He is process of gathering information and has met with the Vermilion County Board Chairman and toured their facility. He has been unable to meet with the mayor but feels things are on hold till after the election. During the tour he became so taken with one of the dogs that he now has 4 dogs. He is hoping that someone will adopt it. SHoughton and EGrzelak volunteered to assist in getting the word out.
There was no further discussion so the meeting was adjourned at 730 PM.
Submitted by JMason October 17