I appreciate St. Albert city council for trying to save the Willoughby Park off-leash dog area, as it is a beloved place, but mandating a zero warning, zero tolerance policy is heavy handed, especially the morning a park designation report was apparently released to the public.
Committing resources in the form of a peace officer to fine first, then inform later, is a backward and ineffective approach.
In the report released the "decision" states that the City will increase communication and awareness of appropriate dog off-leash use through things like signage, education, and enforcement.
Friday morning saw only enforcement, and most certainly did not "positively impact park users' experiences." (Nor did the endlessly idling police cruiser. Is that really necessary?)
What it did do was leave a senior and normally responsible dog owner out of pocket $130 and disappointed with his community.
C. Albrecht, St. Albert