Over 100 Kanab area residents attended the March 29 community meeting at the Kanab Middle School, to weigh in their opinions concerning city dog ordinances. The meeting was not a Kanab City Council function, but rather one held by Councilmen Joe B. Wright and Ed Meyer, to seek and evaluate public opinion on the issue.

Councilman Meyer stressed the event was held to encourage discussion on the issue in a non-adversarial setting. “This is not a survey. We want to get a feeling (of citizen’s opinions on the issue),” said Meyer.

“We’re interested in how the citizens feel about number, enforcement and maybe, possible future ordinances,” said Wright. He said there were no promises that the meeting would result in any changes to current city dog ordinances.

As the meeting began, audience members were given an electronic clicker for voting.

Brian Cottam, Associate Director of Regional Services at Southern Utah University, facilitated the ‘click’ question session. The computerized method provided a process to facilitate a non-confrontational, visual dialog on any issue. It simply asked straightforward questions separately of dog owners and non-owners, concerning their views regarding current ordinances, enforcement, numbers to be allowed, and in what setting. Respondents were anonymous, and immediately shown the vote results on screen.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the click questions was commonality between the opinions of dog owners and non-owners on various issues such as barking, dogs at large, and numbers allowed. There also was an agreement that there should be stricter enforcement of current ordinances, and a good discussion on a ‘mini kennel’ concept.

A discussion session was held after the click questions.

One participant remarked she was happy responsibility was a part of the discussion. “If I get the privilege of having extra dogs, I should be held to a higher level of responsibility.”

Another participant commented she was often disheartened that even though the area is posted as no dogs, quite a few owners let their pets ‘do their business’ on school grounds. She said the irresponsibility made it difficult for teachers, students and the public, to use some of the campus space due to excrement. Someone suggested community service hours be worked off, cleaning up said doo doo. Others said more pet owner responsibility and ordinance enforcement was the answer.

Following that, participants were allowed to personally express opinions to Councilmen Meyer and Wright.