It’s just one doggone thing after another
other spots on the trail and around the district where dogs are walked, because as sure as day follows night, for every doggy-do-dispenser we put up, there will be calls for six more.
And here’s the rub, and there is always a rub to these things, and the rub always has a dollar-sign attached.
How much would putting doggydo bins around the district, stocking them with bags and having them regularly emptied cost?
I don’t have the answer to that, but in my time as Mayor, I have learnt to guess what such a figure might be, then double it, then add a wee bit more to be safe and generally I’ll still be a bit light. It won’t be a small amount of money.
If council was to consider going down the path of putting bins in, staff would spend time and resources finding that cost figure out, including getting quotes from contractors to supply, install, maintain and empty the bins so the figure would be in front of elected members before a decision as to whether to go ahead would be made.
That number might be big enough that consultation with the public would be required.
Next question; if we go ahead and put those bins in; who pays for it? Dog owners through their registration? Rural folk might argue that only pet dog owners should pay but not working dog owners because working dogs don’t get taken for walks generally speaking.
All dog owners may then argue that all ratepayers should pay just as all ratepayers pay for libraries, swimming pools and other public amenities, including rubbish bins for other refuse.
And then there is a fundamental question; does supplying bags and bins along the trail and in other places around the district simply shift responsibility from the miscreant dog owner(s) to all dog owners or all the public in general and if so, is that fair? Is education a smarter move (for the owner, not the dog)?
Also, it may be that no matter how many bag/bins council provides, there will still be some dog owners who won’t use them, so what’s the point?
Self-responsibility really would save a lot of problems and cost.
I don’t have the answers, just lots of thought provoking questions, and that’s just on one topic.
If you have read this column to the end and have found the questions interesting, take the time to talk to an elected member in your area about putting your hand up for a position.
As the saying goes; ‘‘I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realised I was somebody.’’