UPDATE: Malden, Massachusetts

If you tuned into the Pit Bulletin Legal News radio broadcast last night, we touched upon the status of the ordinance currently being considered in Malden, MA. If you missed the show, here is a quick synopsis of what’s going on:

Last week, the city council “enrolled” or made the preliminary approval on the pit bull muzzle ordinance. At the council meeting last night, they “ordained” that preliminary approval with a 7-4 vote. Ordaining is the final approval by the council.

The Mayor now has 10 days to take action. His options are (1) to sign off on the ordinance; (2) veto it; (3) send it back to the council; or (4) take no action. If the Mayor signs the ordinance, it becomes effective immediately. If he takes no action, it becomes effective when the ten days are over. If the ordinance is vetoed by the Mayor, it would go back to the council at their next regular meeting. The council would then be required to vote again to pass the ordinance notwithstanding the Mayor’s objections. If they did vote to override a veto, it would become effective immediately. “Effective immediately” in this instance means May 1st, the date referenced in the ordinance.

With this in mind, there is still possibility for hope in Malden. Mayor Christenson acknowledges he has received a lot of negative feedback on this matter, and he is going to weigh his decision carefully. Please continue to send your polite and respectful opposition to a breed specific ordinance to Mayor Christenson, as well as to Karen Anderson, the city clerk, and Sheila Ferman, the city council clerk. Please also include viable alternatives and good breed-neutral ordinances for consideration.

Sheila Fermano, Council Clerk

Karen Anderson – City Clerk
200 Pleasant St., Room 323
Malden, MA 02148
E-mail: kanderson@cityofmalden.org
Telephone: (781) 397-7116
Fax: (781) 388-0610

Mayor Gary Christenson
200 Pleasant Street, Room 629
Malden, MA 02148
E-mail: gchristenson@cityofmalden.org
Telephone: (781) 397-7000
Fax: (781) 397-7073

Carol Desiderio, Executive Assistant to the Mayor

Christenson to weigh merits of pit bull law

Posted by Matt ByrneApril 11, 2012

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said he will weigh carefully an ordinance expected to land on his desk Wednesday that would include pit bulls in the city’s definition of vicious dogs.

The designation would also require owners to muzzle their dogs when in public.

“I will have both the opponents and the proponents in to give me some insight,” Christenson said in a phone interview.

Christenson said his office has received more calls from dog owners upset with the move than he has for any other single issue in his three months in office.

“I’m going to give it the due diligence that it deserves,” the mayor said, adding later: “I’m certainly not going to sign it willy-nilly.”

The City Council voted Tuesday to ordain the measure, a formality that sends it to Christenson, who now has 10 days to either sign the ordinance or veto it.

If he decides to take no action, the law is automatically approved after the 10 day period expires.

The ordinance was passed by the council April 3 in the face of loud public outcry. Pitbull owners said the breed-specific legislation is ineffective and unfair. The councilors said they were looking to curb intimidation by dog owners, and to reduce dog bites.



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