Editor’s Note: Alliance Dog Owners Group (ADOG) is a non-profit group with a mission to support and promote the city dog park.
As anyone who frequents the city dog park knows, I am there with my puppies every day, and frequently, more than once a day. My boxer Biskit and I spend our time playing ball and cleaning up, picking up trash and dog droppings. I’m grateful that Alliance has such a nice dog park, I try to do my part to make sure it stays that way, and have even personally paid for items to make the park a better place. I have told the city manager that we have an incredible asset and need to promote it better on Alliance’s web page. I talk to newcomers on an almost daily basis about the park and the city. I have always promoted Alliance, and as a lifelong resident, truly believe in the “Best hometown in America.”
April 22 my attitude changed just a little. On my second trip to the dog park that Wednesday, Councilman Pasha Korber-Gonzalez made a special appearance at the park to inform me that the “ADOG” board, who she says controls the dog park, doesn’t like where I park my vehicle. When school is in session I park on the north end of the dog park on Box Butte Ave. Since there is no ADA accessible approach I have found this to be the best suited spot to safely unload and load myself and my puppies. Admittedly, I usually park over the curb, as do most other patrons of the dog park who utilize that parking.
She told me that ADOG was a nonprofit group of five individuals. I asked, as I have in the past, to know when they have their meetings as I would like to address some concerns I have. I questioned her about this group and if it was an official city of Alliance board and she responded “No.” I asked her how this group could post rules and regulations for a city-owned and taxpayer paid for park that do not comply with the city codes for the parks. She didn’t respond, just told me that she would file a complaint about my parking and left.
After my encounter, I saw Chief of Police Kiss in the city offices and I asked him if he had received any complaints about my parking at the dog park. Chief Kiss said “No.” Just a brief interjection here, I’ve been at the dog park daily for nearly two years now; rain, snow, wind, or shine and I had never seen Councilman Korber-Gonzalez there until that day. A group of volunteers including my daughter and myself recently hauled rock at the park. I did not see Councilman Gonzalez there, nor was I able to identify any of the other five members of the exclusive ADOG group.
Several people at the dog park that day all stated that they frequently park exactly where, and how, I park. Then, not surprisingly, a police officer pulled up and told me that there was a complaint about where I parked. I inquired who complained, and he politely told me he could not say. He stated Chief Kiss conveyed the complaint at the turnover meeting and it came directly from the council.
Now, it may be that the original complaint didn’t come from the councilman, and she was only responding to, or acting in the interests of the ADOG group, but shouldn’t the “rules” be applied equally to everyone? I guess it’s not really the fact that someone didn’t like how I parked my car, but that the person who approached me about it was so high-handed. Rudeness is not attractive in anyone, and is especially off-putting from an elected official. One would think as public servants, elected officials would understand that they should be just that, there to serve the needs of all the voters. Instead one sees examples of elected officials using the power given to them by the voting public to selectively support an elusive few.