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.