A possible 10-day wait to see if Mayor Brad McCloud would veto an ordinance that repealed Reynoldsburg’s ban on pit bulls is over, after City Council President Doug Joseph, as acting mayor, signed it into law this morning, Feb. 28.

“Ordinance 25-18 is now law in the city of Reynoldsburg and will take effect in 30 days,” Joseph said. “No more lawsuits, no more delays. Freedom wins today in Reynoldsburg.”

Joseph said he has been acting mayor since 5 p.m. Feb. 27 because McCloud is out of town and won’t be back until Friday, March 2.

“I am acting mayor during this time and anytime he is out of town, per city charter,” Joseph said. “Mayor McCloud did not discuss with me his intentions regarding the legislation and I did not discuss mine with him,” he said.

“I learned late yesterday that he had taken no action on the legislation prior to his departure,” Joseph said. “I decided then to sign the legislation as acting mayor and did so this morning around 10:30 a.m.”

Council approved a new animal ordinance by a 4-2 vote Feb. 26 that lifts a ban on pit bulls that has been in place since 1996.

McCloud had 10 days to veto the new ordinance, however, because the vote to approve the revision did not equal two-thirds majority or five votes.

The revision to city code removed breed-specific language in the city’s animal ordinance, which designated “pit bull type dogs” as vicious and thus illegal in Reynoldsburg.

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Reynoldsburg council votes to abolish pit-bull ban

Reynoldsburg City Council approved a new animal ordinance by a 4-2 vote Feb. 26 and lifted a pit-bull ban that has been in place since 1996.

Dog owners must wait to see if Mayor Brad McCloud decides to veto the new ordinance, however, because the vote to approve the revision did not equal two-thirds majority, or five votes.

McCloud could exercise his right of veto within 10 days.

Kristin Bryant, Marshall Spalding, Caleb Skinner and Stacie Baker voted to repeal the ban and approve the new ordinance, and Barth Cotner and Brett Luzader voted against it. Councilman Mel Clemens was absent.

“Essentially, given the combination of the police ceasing enforcement of the law four years ago and the Fifth District’s opinion in the Russ case, we felt there was no choice but to repeal the ban,” Bryant said.

Darlene Russ sued Reynoldsburg after she was cited for owning a pit bull. After a Licking County judge ruled in the city’s favor, she took the case to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, which ruled in February 2017 that although Reynoldsburg’s animal ordinance identified her pit bull as “vicious” and thus illegal in the city, the Ohio Revised Code, Section 955, had abolished the practice of specifying that any one breed was “vicious” and that residents of Ohio may keep or own any breed they choose.

For more on this story, check ThisWeekNEWS.com and read the March 8 edition of ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News.

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