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Published: Tuesday, 11/26/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

TOLEDO COUNCIL

City delays votes on position’s pay, cat and dog sales

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo City Council on Tuesday delayed two controversial votes — an ordinance that would strictly regulate the sale of cats and dogs in the city and also Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins’ request to hike the salary cap permitted for the city’s next director of business development.

The proposed law regarding “companion animals” was drafted after a pet store opened in Westfield Franklin Park that sells puppies. It would forbid the shop from obtaining animals from unscrupulous puppy mills, proponents said.

The law — which if passed would apply to the store, which is already open — would ban the sale of a “companion animal” in pet shops, retail businesses, and commercial establishments unless the animal is obtained from a legitimate animal shelter, animal-control agency, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization. It would prohibit the display or sale of dogs or cats unless they are at least 8 weeks old and have their deciduous teeth visibly present. The law would require inoculations and that the animals be spayed or neutered.

Councilman Tom Waniewski submitted an amendment Tuesday that would weaken the law by allowing shops to obtain animals from breeders licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and who are violation-free in their most recent inspection.

Councilman Rob Ludeman, a proponent of the proposed law in its original form, said Mr. Waniewski’s suggestion was unacceptable.

Council also delayed for two weeks Mr. Collins’ request to increase from $92,500 to $135,000 the city’s salary cap for an business development director.

Mr. Collins tussled slightly with Councilman Joe McNamara over the request.

Mr. McNamara told Mr. Collins he would support the increase if he provided council with a budget for the mayor’s office in 2014.

“If you are going to reduce that number greater than this increase in salary then I will support that,” Mr. McNamara said.

Mr. Collins’ campaign promises included slashing 30 percent from the mayor’s office budget, which in 2013 was $821,375. Mayor Mike Bell’s proposed 2014 budget reduces it to $820,510. Mr. Collins’ promise requires him to cut it to about $575,000. However, Mr. Collins clarified Tuesday that his promise was to reduce 30 percent of personnel.

“I will endeavor to satisfy your curiosity,” Mr. Collins replied to Mr. McNamara.

Mr. Collins sent council an organizational chart showing how he plans to structure the mayor’s office beginning in 2014. It includes a chief of staff as opposed to three deputy mayors in the Bell administration. The document shows an executive assistant and a mayoral staff of four as opposed to an executive assistant and five staff members and two interns under Mayor Bell.

In other business, council voted 11-0 to spend $30,000 to hire a consultant to perform a safety study of Sylvania Avenue between Secor and Douglas roads. Sylvania from Secor to Douglas recently was ranked as the 10th most dangerous corridor for crashes in all of Lucas and Wood counties, according to city records. The study would precede an application for an Ohio Department of Transportation Safety Funding Program grant that could cover the vast majority of construction to make the road safer. The study is required to apply for the grant.

Councilman Lindsay Webb was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.



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