VIDEO > Brigantine leadership inviting dog bite lawsuits? Watch the video from the City Council meeting on 4/20/2016. City Manager Ed Stinson and Mayor Phil Guenther see no problem with turning the secure Brigantine Dog Park at 42 street into a doggy free-for-all. A likely dangerous one too.
City Manager Stinson was oddly confident that GIF (insurance carrier for Brigantine) would see no problem with a totally open access park. ‘Many other local towns have free parks’ said the stuttering Stinson. When pressed, Stinson said he didn’t have the paperwork with him that night. What else is new?
One vacation renter; Maureen Chandler, argued that Stinson & Guenther’s recommendation to remove the current dog park safe-guards invites lawsuits against the City of Brigantine. ‘What is Stinson thinking?’ says Chandler. See dog park lawsuit info here.
Stinson defended the possibility of no longer using a swipe card and fee for accessing the Brigantine Dog Park. City Manager Stinson was quoted as saying the $1,500 annual expense was too much for this resident amenity, even though most of that cost is covered by $30 license fees and donations. It should be noted that Brigantine had a $5.3 million surplus, through over-taxation, as of Dec. 31, 2015.
Why the dog hate? Fingers are pointing to President of Brigantine Rams football; Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan.
Why would Morgan want to mess with this low cost public amenity? Reports have noted that Morgan & various Brigantine sports teams have been very vocal in their opposition to the adjacent dog park, even though it occupies a small, never used corner on the outskirts of the sports fields.
Editors note: It’s been brought to Council’s attention that many of the sports teams that play at the 42nd st sports complex are not legally registered as non-profits. Most do not undergo scrutiny by Brigantine’s Recreation Director; Jim Mogan.
The ‘Snack Shack’ and other cash-intensive activity around the Brigantine sports leagues are alleged to have little or no compliant bookkeeping, even though leagues operate on taxpayer funded land and are subsidized by tax revenue.
Janice Saudargas is a dog owner on a mission. She knows the Dog Park at 42 & Bayshore is a great feature of Brigantine. The dogs can run and play in a safe environment.
City manager Edward Stinson wants no fees and no swipe card. Stinson wants the park open to anyone, even the kids playing football right next door. Attendees noted this is just asking for trouble. Some complain this is just a devious way for the Mayor & Stinson to shutter the park as soon as the first kid…. looking for a little trouble…. gets bit by a playful canine. Then, they can build something on it.
Non-dog owners will trash the place. We shouldn’t have to police the place and say….hey you…you can’t come in. That’s not our job, Saudargas said.
The Brigantine Public Works chief clumsily chimed in. John Doring said ‘police should be able to control who enters the park.’ Wow. We didn’t know Doring was now able to speak for, and represent the Brigantine Police Department.
For years, the football, baseball and hockey coaches have made life miserable for Brigantine dog owners. This gnarly group of local dads have been the most vocal against the much needed dog park.
The dog park, better described as a ‘dog run’ is low impact environmentally, is virtually self funded, and takes up just a sliver of land that was originally never used.
“An insurance company is worried about a toddler drowning in a public pool, so how can they be all right with kids running into a dog park? she said. This opens up the city to be sued.
Councilperson Karen Bew offered her nonsensical anti-dogpark opinion. She compared it to Shark Park. After a few embarrassing chuckles aimed at Bew, the topic quickly moved on.
The Brigantine dog park will reopen on May 2 after some much needed improvements. The park is now regraded with new grass.