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Human Rights Ordinance Placed on Ballot, 'Dangerous Dog' Ordinance Passes on First Reading

Commission works until 11:45 p.m. to handle its agenda at Monday night meeting.

The Royal Oak City Commission worked more than four hours to complete its agenda at Monday night’s regular meeting.

City Commission Votes to Put Human Rights Ordinance on November Ballot

Commissioners voted unanimously to put the much talked about human rights ordinance for Royal Oak to a vote of the people.

Opponents of the issue succeeded in forcing the human rights ordinance passed in March back to the table after submitting the required 746 valid signatures of registered voters.

Voters will now decide on Nov. 5 whether or not to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodation on the basis of a variety of factors including race, religion, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. 

"I just hope we are not going to have a combative, nasty campaign going forward to November," said Commissioner Peggy Goodwin. She suggested a community dialog is in order to get residents' concerns on the table.

"If you answer all the questions and people still want to vote no, you've done your job," Goodwin said.

Mayor Jim Ellison said he also fears the battle will become ugly and draw outside influence.

"I love the idea of having a dialog going," Ellison said. "As Royal Oakers, I would hope we would listen to our fellow Royal Oakers and get the information and not rely on exaggerated facts and exaggerated examples coming from both sides of the issue."

'Dangerous dog' ordinance passes the first reading

On first reading, commissioners voted to support language to a proposed amendment to the city's dog ordinance that defines 'dangerous' and 'potentially dangerous' dog regulations and penalties.

Under the proposed amendment, owners of dogs determined to be 'dangerous' in Royal Oak would have to secure the animal in a locked pen or yard, post a warning sign, complete an animal obedience class and have a microchip injected under the dog's skin or have the dog tattooed. Owners would also have to maintain a minimum $1 million insurance policy to cover claims for any personal injuries inflicted by the dog.  

A similar set of regulations would exist for 'potentially dangerous' dogs. (See the attached PDF.)

Procedurally, a dog would be determined to be dangerous or potentially dangerous by the Animal Control Officer when the dog has a history of bites or unprovoked attacks.

"I think one of the things I like best about the ordinance is it gives the public an opportunity to identify problematic dogs in their surroundings and be able to report them to the police and see an action taken through the Animal Control Officer," said Mayor Pro-Tem Patricia Capello.

Dog owners failing to comply with the ordinance could be punished by a fine of up to $500, up to 90 days in jail or both, under the proposed amendment.

Other agenda items

  • The City Commission awarded a contract for 11 Mile Road streetscape improvements.
  • Commissioners approved a security camera system agreement for the Royal Oak Public Library.
  • A discussion of a Arts, Beats & Eats agreement amendment was tabled until the next commission meeting.
Sally Mace April 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM
I'm glad this includes ALL species of dogs, not a particular breed. Personally, I'm fearful of the little snappy dogs.
Sue April 16, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Mary Ellen, I heard you speak last night also. I was not impressed...at least that was my perception of your speech. Also your term "lies" is just your perception. I am working with this group to educate our residents about this ordinance. I helped gather the signatures. I let them read the ordinance first. People were more that willing to sign after they read it. I encouraged them to read it first. As far a out-of-stater backings, I have heard robo calls being made to residents by someone possibly out of state asking questions on gay rights issues????? The perception is these could possibly be from out of state.
Jc31 April 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Where can I read these ordinances?
Judy Davids (Editor) April 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Both are attached to this document as a PDF. Scroll to the top and you will see both.
The Superintendent April 17, 2013 at 04:16 PM
In the past, mary ellen bell, you stated you were a highschool teacher. Are you posting here from the classroom?
MyCellphone April 17, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I have you on my cellphone video telling me about men using women's bathrooms! Yeah, 'liar" is the right term! LOL!
J. Dinsmore April 17, 2013 at 06:16 PM
A teacher politicking on school (and taxpayer) time. What a surprise. I'm sure the taxpayers of the Madison Heights (or Lamphere) school districts wouldn't appreciate a teacher blogging during one of their class periods. Please point your attention to the students during the school day, Mary Ellen. Feel free to blog your head off after school, on your own time. Thanks!
MyCellphone April 17, 2013 at 07:48 PM
And, I bet Mary Ellen even took a school PENCIL home! Get real and stop with the self-righteous diatribe and the "taxpayer" monologue.
MyCellphone April 17, 2013 at 07:50 PM
There is only ONE species of dogs, but many breeds.
Sue April 17, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Yeah, MyCellphone, Kind of thought you were taping me on your phone. But that does not bother me at all. I did not talk to anyone without kindness. Also provided a copy of the ordinance for all to read. Saying I lied, well, contact the Boston Globe and see if they lied. I am more concerned about children than adults. Don't know about you. But yes, MA can have girls and boys restrooms and locker rooms, however, a person cannot be denied access to the restroom or locker room of their choice. So you cannot say I mislead you in any way. I had the documentation and it was available for all to read before they signed. Also the full ordinance. So go call the Boston Globe...site below....tell them they lied. This is not even the issue for me....just an example of where these kind of laws can go. http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/02/massachusetts-law-to-allow-boys-in-girls-bathrooms-loc ker-rooms/ http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/02/17/transgender/FHmjIUlSZo0LCMy02xF97M/story.html http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/students-who-refuse-to-affirm-transgender -classmates-face-punishment.html http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/lawmakers-act-to-protect-children-from-tr ansgender-bathrooms.html
Sue April 17, 2013 at 08:14 PM
For Jc31, here is where you can read the ordinance. I gave it to a neighbor who wanted to read before he signed. He even said it is terrible for a person who owns a business. But read it and do your research. http://www.ci.royal-oak.mi.us/portal/webfm_send/2342

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