Good decisions come from good discussions.
On Monday, Nov. 23, the city is hosting a public input session on a request by Salmon Arm Nature Bay Enhancement Society (SABNES) for the city to adopt a bylaw that would ban dogs from the city-owned foreshore trail between the downtown waterfront and Raven. Currently there is no bylaw prohibiting dogs, although ‘no dogs’ signs have been posted by SABNES for many years.
Some citizens object to a ban suggesting that leashed dogs are no more of a problem than people walking or biking on the trail. Others support the idea of a ban, citing concerns about detrimental effects to the birds and other wildlife in the area. There are valid arguments and many implications on both sides, but one thing is clear – any decision council makes to allow or ban dogs from the trail would be enhanced by community participation in the discussion.
This is not a referendum. It does not mean those who write the most letters or send the most people to the meeting will score victory. But a community conversation allows council members to weigh all the viewpoints and create a bylaw based on a full picture of the issue.
The public input meeting on Nov. 23 is at 7 p.m. in council chambers and all citizens will be given a reasonable chance to be heard. Or citizens can share their views by sending a letter or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.