|Jim Cieslak displays one of his empty poop bags|
"How can I walk my dog from Pheasant Court to the industrial park without going through the Township park?" he asked, noting that he walks along the treeline and away from athletic fields. He's received several warnings from police officers over the years, although he's never been cited.
"We can't tell police not to stop you," responded President Martin Zawarski. Commissioner Michael Hudak suggested that Cieslak walk his dog at St. Luke's Hospital, which is where he sometimes walks his.
"I'm a responsible dog owner," stated Cieslak, producing one of the blue poop bags he carries with him at all times for his pit bull mix Jaxson. "He's the most friendly dog you'd ever want to meet," Cieslak assured everyone.
Though Commissioners were unsympathetic, Cieslak pledged to continue.
"I'm going to walk my dog," he insisted, in an act of both civil and canine disobedience.
Police Chief Dan Pancoast, who also attended the meeting, said later that the last thing any officer wants to do is to cite a dog owner. Cieslak himself conceded that the same officer has given him a warning twice instead of citing him.
Commissioners are just getting used to the idea of people in parks, so I think they need more time. When these issues arise, I think back to my childhood. We used to spend our Summers at the Jersey shore. We had a big German Shepherd named Duke. My father, bastard that he was, used to walk the dog along the beach every morning in clear violation of numerous signs banning them from the beach. The Bishop had a gigantic house at he beach, too, right next to the beach, and early one morning, spotted my Dad breaking the law.
"Sir, sir, you're not allowed to walk your dog on the beach," he called out.
"Ahhh, go tend your flock!" my father replied.