Dog tethering law is a bad idea

To The Sun:

Recently, I've seen stories on the news and many comments on Facebook about the anti-tethering laws that a group in Parsons is pushing to get passed into law, not only locally, but statewide. I personally am against such a law being pushed onto me as I feel it's infringing on my right for self-protection.

When I first moved to Parsons, I felt it a close-knit, safe community, but soon after, it began to run downhill fast. And now I read a statistic on the Internet that it now has the reputation of having among the highest crime rates per-capita. (Numbers were based on 2011 crime reports to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Parsons and other cities in Kansas, including Iola, Great Bend and Fort Scott, had crime index rates higher than 50 crimes per 1,000 residents and Pittsburg's index rate was more than 60 crimes per 1,000 residents).

I remember one night my dogs were outside barking, sounding terrified, certainly raising an alarm. I looked out and didn't see anything, but stayed awake. A few days later, I heard some new neighbors down the street had discovered their dogs killed in their back yard the same night my dogs were barking.

For many of us keep our dogs tethered outside as our alarm system and as a deterrent. Yes, dogs are social creatures, and at night, when the city slows down, they talk amongst themselves over several blocks, letting each other know that all is well.

Dogs are territorial and protective. If someone were to approach them improperly, of course they will appear to be mean and unhappy. My dogs have always adopted me, not the other way around. I keep them chained to protect them from traffic and I usually have two, so they are not alone if I'm not home. They are my friends; my early warning system. They know who is supposed to be in the neighborhood and who is not. I'd much rather have them for an alarm system than ADT, because if a serious storm came about and the electricity goes out, they will still be active.

If this law is passed, I'd have to question the thinking behind it as the city lets streets go for years with very little care because of tight budget constraints, and they try to patch them when they can, so how will they also pay for enforcement, extra manpower and other associated costs to enforce a frivolous law such as this. I think taxes are high enough as it is and that would be the first place for them to go to find additional funding. — KEITH AKKERMAN, Parsons


Citizen questions water line decision

To The Sun:

The definition of insanity is expecting different results while continuing to do the same thing. I was told by the city manager that the water lines were not in the budget but the city will build the water line for Great Plains Industrial Park because we are good neighbors. Understand that the political action committee that supported four candidates for city commissioner is run by Ann Charles. Ann Charles is interim executive director of the Great Plains Development Authority. Need I say more?

If we cannot fix Parsons, how are we able to give Great Plains a water line using our resources that I was told did not exist for Parsons? I also understand that we are giving them labor and discounted water. I do not remember getting a memo stating I was going to get a discount for my water. During the water outage last summer I did not see a discount on my bill. Did anyone get a discount for the time we were without water due to the water break?

Dan Goddard, former executive director of the GPDA and recently elected to the city commission, sat at the candidate forum and brought up the name of Great Plains several times. This company is not located in Parsons. I would hope that when the time comes to make a decision concerning this industrial park that Goddard will abstain from voting.

State and federal government grants are drying up yet Parsons plans their growth around these funds. Parsons needs new water lines yet we have things like Tolen Creek and a new running path. No one has ever questioned why.

Citizens, we are being used and without our participation it will continue. Before we help our neighbors we need to care for our house: Parsons first. Let your commissioners know your thoughts via e-mail, phone calls or in person. Do not let the city manager control our city without hearing our voices first. — VIRGINIA MONEY, Parsons

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