Thompson presses pit bull issue

Whitehall City Councilwoman Jackie Thompson continued to press for a yes/no answer to an ongoing question about pit bulls.

At the June 24 Whitehall City Council meeting Thompson asked, "Will anyone owning a Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American bulldog, American pit bull terrier, or a mixture of those breeds, be required to be registered and microchipped?"  

Councilman Bob Bailey’s legislation for vicious animals is due for its third reading at council’s July 1 meeting. His ordinance reflects laws set by the Ohio Revised Code.  

However, Thompson thinks Whitehall should follow suit with Franklin County animal control, which includes all of the breeds considered to be in the pit bull category. Bailey was absent from the meeting, and City Attorney Mike Shannon assured Thompson and council that he would offer an opinion prior to next week’s vote.

Police news

Mayor John Wolfe shared with council a conversation he had with Police Chief Richard Zitzke about a complaint from resident, Janiece Miller, at the previous week’s meeting.  

They did agree that maybe the way the officer came across could have been more clear when responding to a fight between juveniles recently. Miller alleged that the officer did not want to make a report, because the victim lives out of state.  However, the father of the victim was contacted by the officer by cell phone. The parent said that he did not wish to press charges, as it would be impossible to return to Ohio for a trial. A report was filed in detail about the assault surrounding the color of cap the youth was wearing who was punched.

In another incident cited by Miller where a woman was allegedly running from someone who was threatening to kill her and the woman attempted to get into Miller’s van for help, the mayor is still looking into that one, as is Zitzke.

On June 17, Zitzke said he had not been able to find any phone records regarding a 911 call from Miller. He did point out that when anyone calls 911 from a cell phone, it will go to Columbus. If they do not ask to be transferred to Whitehall police or fire departments, they will probably sit and wait while the first dispatcher determines where to transfer the call. Miller claimed that she sat on hold with the 911 dispatcher for seven minutes, and there was no officer response.

Zitske also noted that, if using a cell phone, the caller can dial 237-6333 and hit zero when it connects, otherwise, they need to ask to be transferred to Whitehall.  There is no technology yet in this area able to determine a cell phone caller’s location.

Other Whitehall news

•Wolfe said he will be bringing forth legislation soon to approve selling a city owned house on Broadhurst.  

Several years ago the property was contaminated by tanks buried under the fire station property.  So the city purchased the house. The tanks were removed, and the environment cleaned and cleared of contaminates. The house had been rented all these years, which covered the taxes, according to Wolfe. Some work has been done on the outside and he would like to see what needs to be done on the inside so that it can be placed on the market at fair market price.  

•Service Director Ray Ogden announced, "As of today, we have mowed 195 different occurrences at $200 each.  Some addresses multiple times."  

He gave council another resolution to pass next week to assess property taxes of the offenders that amounts to about $9,800.  It was noted that calls have been received asking if  fines can be paid for by check. Ogden made it clear that the city is not a mowing and lawn service. Any work performed by city crews, because residents fail to care for their property, will be assessed to property taxes through the county.

•The annual holiday carnival at John Bishop Park in Whitehall will open July 2 at 5 p.m. and run through July 4.  Parade will step off at 10 a.m.  The band "Next Exit" will perform at the John LaCorte Amphitheater 7-9:55 p.m. immediately followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.  Taste of Whitehall pizza contest to determine the 2008 best pizza in town,  will be at 7 p.m. on July 2 at the WCCA information table.



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