Minutes- 8/9/12
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:45 PM

District 10 Como Community Council
Neighborhood Relations & Safety Committee
Historic Streetcar Station
August 9, 2012
6:00pm – 8:30pm

Members Present: Ted Blank (Chair), Laurie Erickson, Betsy Wehrwein, Dolores Rufanacht

Staff Present: Jessie Bronk

Others Present: Approximately 100 community attendees


I. Call to Order by chair Ted Blank at approximately 6:08 p.m.

II. Community Section – Dog Bite Safety: Invited Guests: Ricardo Cervantes, Director of Safety and Inspections; Todd Carey, Animal Control Officer; Chris Johnston, Attorney-at-Law.
Ricardo Cervantes, Director of Safety and Inspections for the City of St. Paul spoke on dangerous dog ordinances and procedures at the City of Saint Paul. There are 231 potentially dangerous dogs on records and 13 dangerous ones that meet the requirements for the City’s dangerous dog policies. For dangerous dogs only, notification is provided to nearby neighbors and it is required that they be muzzled and wear a special tag when outside their yards. For potentially dangerous dogs, no such requirements exist.

Chris Johnson, Attorney-at-Law: Trespass and provocation are two defenses to liability in the event your dog bites someone. Homeowner’s insurance is important for a victim of a dog bite, especially if they don’t have health insurance. If your dog bites someone, your rates will generally increase. Renter’s insurance works similar, however rental insurance is not required and many renters are not insured. Landlords are not generally liable, so victims may have a hard time getting financial support from a renter if there is no liability insurance to go after.

Community Input: Speakers signed up in advance and were allotted 2 minutes to speak. Priority was given to District 10 residents. Speakers generally expressed opposition to D10 supporting legislation to ban specific breeds of dogs and encouraged efforts to educate dog owners and the public on proper behavior around dogs. Multiple speakers expressed outrage at the contents of the anonymous postcard mailed to D10 residents in July.

III. Committee Input & Discussion
Committee members stressed the importance of being a responsible dog owner, expressed concern about the difficulty of recovering damages from an uninsured renter, and discussed the need for more education about dog safety.

Blank motion/Wehrein Second:
The committee will report back at next month’s meeting with answers to follow-up questions unable to be answered during the meeting. The committee will work to proactively disseminate information on bite prevention, such as through block leaders and through the e-newsletter/quarterly newsletter. The committee will investigate offering a dog bite prevention/dog safety workshop. The committee will encourage the City to have better notification/identification of potentially dangerous dogs. The committee assures that breed specific legislation is not on our agenda.
Motion approved unanimously.

IV. Community Section – Hamline/Nebraska Crosswalk
Community members and the committee discussed safety concerns related to the Hamline/Nebraska crosswalk in light of an email from Councilmember Russ Stark which proposed using his STAR funds to build a “bump out” at the intersection to improve pedestrian visibility. Community and committee reaction was positive, although several expressed concern that additional solutions, such as a pedestrian-activity flashing light, may be necessary to solve the problem.

Blank motion/Erickson Second:
Present Action Item to D10 Board to write letter in support of Stark STAR application.
Motion approved unanimously.

V. Board Section
a. July minutes approved
b. Housing forum discussion: The committee set a tentative date of October 13. The committee will continue to discuss over email in the next couple of weeks.
c. New Business – Traditions (formerly Sholom Home) Concerns: Dolores expressed concerns about tall weeds and vandalism on the Traditions property. The committee will follow with an email to Sgt. Charlie Anderson to express our concerns and find out what they can do to monitor the property.

VI. The committee adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Jessie Bronk


District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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