PLYMPTON–On Monday, Oct. 29, Griffin Webb, the part-time Animal Control Officer for the Town of Plympton made an impassioned plea to the board for leash laws in town. But the board rejected those requests, noting that the current bylaws should give Webb the “teeth” to enforce the law against aggressive and nuisance pets.
Webb, who also works in Marshfield as an ACO, had compiled a list of surrounding town’s leash laws, and frequently made reference to what he explained as greater authority to enforce laws where he works in Marshfield.
Accompanying him was Robert Quindley, of County Road, who described a neighbor’s pit-bull mix attacking his beagle in an enclosed, fenced-in area of his yard. Webb had informed him that he could not take action against the dog or owner because of the lack of a leash law, something the board disagreed with.
Selectman Mark Russo, a veterinarian, said he was not in favor of leash laws. He said that although he professionally sees the results of dogs who fight, he also said that he sees dogs on a regular basis that “are half-crazy because they can’t run.”
He said that towns with leash laws need to have leash-free areas in town.
“Could we work leash-free areas into a law?” asked Webb. But the board was not budging.
“I totally support your enthusiasm, but you do have the power [to enforce the bylaws],” said Russo. Plympton bylaws do state that dogs must be under the control of their owner at all times, and have fines for violations.
“I don’t want to see you patrolling the streets for dogs,” said Selectman Christine Joy. “Maybe in the future.” But, she added, there is room for improvement in the bylaws.
Selectman Chairman John Traynor suggested that the fines for violating current animal bylaws, such as unlicensed or aggressive dogs, need to be drastically increased.
The board seemed to be gearing up for more hearings, though, as they did encourage Webb to bring forward his investigations and findings to the board in the future.
Webb also brought up the fact that he is having issues with livestock in the middle of the road, particularly sheep. This brought some laughter to the room, but again, the board encouraged him to use existing bylaws to deal with livestock.
Webb wished to know where he could get a citation book, like he has in Marshfield. Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy said that if the police could not obtain one for him, the town would order him one.
In other BOS news:
• Area58 Community Access Television, of which Plympton is a member, is bringing the ability to go “live” in high definition on cable for certain meetings held in Town House’s large meeting room. The board gave Area58 permission to move forward with the nominal cost of obtaining a static IP address for the technology to work.
• Dennehy, the town’s chief procurement officer, will be delegating more procurement responsibilities to department heads, while retaining some oversight at the same time for major spending projects.
• The family of Diane Giordani, who was killed in an alleged motor vehicle homicide in town last May, have donated a large American flag to the Plympton Fire Department in her memory. The board graciously accepted the donation, which the department suggested should replace the tattered flag flying outside the Town House campus.
• Selectmen will next meet Monday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. in the large meeting room at Town House. The board has decided to meet twice a month for the time being.