Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes this place seems downright surreal. The Ann Arbor city council is considering adopting a new city pet ordinance that would require dog walkers pick up their pets waste, banning keeping reptiles as domestic pets, and prohibiting owners from leaving pets over 24 hours. I’m not sure where the reptile bit is coming from – they seem perfectly acceptable pets to me. Maybe there’s something I don’t know about your average lizard, or a new development in protestant bourgeois liberalism. In addition, I know many pets can be left for more than a day with no problem – including reptiles, some cats, and fish. Why not define this a bit differently? Apparently the proposed law carries personal meaning for an outgoing city council member:

“Council Member Heidi Herrell agreed to remove that language if it stood in the way of the council approving the ordinance.

“It’s mostly common sense and we’ve written it down,” said Herrell, D-3rd Ward, about the revisions, recommended by a task force that she led.

The 38-page, revised ordinance could be passed at the next meeting Nov. 6. That will be Herrell’s final meeting. Herrell, who is well known for her animal activism, is stepping down after eight years on the council.

After the meeting, Herrell broke down in tears while discussing the disappointment of not being able to get it passed.”

While some of the provisions seem a bit unnecessary, I hope they are able to pass something.

If that’s not weird enough, they city is considering allowing the Ann Arbor Fire Department to charge at least $285 an hour to respond to emergency calls made by non-residents. Luckily, our esteemed city council members seem hesitant:

“… Council Member Heidi Herrell, D-3rd Ward, said if a student is paying rent in the city, they shouldn’t have to pay for those services. But, she said, students who live in dormitories on campus should be charged because the University of Michigan doesn’t pay property taxes to the city.

Council Member Chris Easthope asked about business owners who pay rent in Ann Arbor but live out of town.

Council Member Mike Reid, R-2nd Ward, said the city should check with other college towns to see how they decide residency status for students.

Council Member Kim Groome, D-1st Ward, said that she was concerned students may not call for emergency help if they know they will be charged for it.”

Yes folks, they’re vaguely concerned. As far as I’m concerned, emergency medical response is a public service, and I don’t care where you live, or even whether you are a citizen or not. It’s absurd the city council is even entertaining this type of proposal – it’s millions of student dollars that keep their beloved downtown vibrant, and if it weren’t for us they’d all be bumping into each other out in the strip malls bemoaning what a nice place “downtown” used to be, trying to run a city with half the tax dollars. Maybe you’d like to let them know what you think about being charged for calling 911?

Oh, and the usual attempted break-ins and drunken shenanigans in today’s Police Beat as well.

Author: Rob