Opinion | Campaign Issues in Conshohocken | Animal Control Ordinance

This is part of a series of opinion pieces on what we feel are important issues in the upcoming elections for seats on municipal councils and boards in the Borough of Conshohocken, the Borough of West Conshohocken, Plymouth Township, and Whitemarsh Township.

In the Borough of Conshohocken, the November 2nd election includes four seats on Conshohocken’s Borough Council and the position of mayor. Below are the specific positions and who is running:

Ward 2 – Richard Kosich (R) and Adrian Serna (D)
Ward 4 – Lori Burt (R) and Anita Barton (D) (incumbent)
Ward 5 – Rita Montemayor (R) and Kathleen Kingsley (D) (Kingsley is the incumbent, but was only recently appointed to the position after the resignation of Jane Flanagan)
Ward 5 – Christopher Dieckhaus (R) and Stacy Ellam (D)
Mayor – Mike Makoid (R) and Yaniv Aronson (D) (incumbent)

Proposed Animal Control Ordinance

Conshohocken Borough Council is set to vote on a proposed animal control ordinance on October 20th. Two sections from the ordinance have met with vocal opposition from community members.

The first item opposed by some members of the community is a prohibition on feeding feral cats.

The second item is a prohibition on keeping chickens for those without a single-family detached home.

While those parts of the proposed ordinance are facing opposition, we haven’t heard of any organized opposition with the overall prohibition on roosters, regulations involving cleaning up after dogs, etc. You can find the complete text of the proposed ordinance here.

When the vote to advertise the ordinance (the step that must take place prior to the vote to formally consider it for approval or denial) was taken the vote was 5-0. Two members of the council were absent.

So the only incumbent up for election who voted to advertise the ordinance has been Kathleen Kingsley (Ward 5). Note that voting to advertise the ordinance doesn’t mean that Kingsley will vote to pass the ordinance. Anita Barton, who represents Ward 4 and is up for re-election, was one of those absent when the vote was taken.

This vote will come just prior to the election, so this issue is very relevant and timely. Two suggested questions to ask when you have a candidate knock on your door are as follows:

– Do you support the ordinance as currently written?

– Do you support parts of the ordinance, but not others? If so, what parts do you support and what parts do you think need to be eliminated or revised? If so, are you willing to vote against the ordinance and work to revise it for future consideration?

Do not forget to ask the candidates for mayor how they would vote if they were needed to break a tie or whether they would continue vetoing the ordinance if passed.