Carmel City Council – May 20

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What happened: Amending barbed wire and electric fence restrictions

Sue Finkam reported the Public Safety Committee amended wording such as replacing “prohibited” with “restrictions.” Eric Seidensticker requested city attorney Ashley Alberts determine whether wording required those with fences currently breaking the ordinance to remove barbs or shut off electricity. “Are they being grandfathered?” he asked.

Rick Sharp explained the ordinance requires the “minimal effort of signs on existing” fences while seeking to prevent further barbed or electric fences.  He pointed out “the restriction of such fences within three feet of public paths aligns with state law.”

What’s next: Though amended twice during the meeting, the ordinance was tabled for further committee discussions.

 

What happened: Multi-use path ordinance not approved

Ron Carter reported the parks committee’s positive recommendation but Eric Seidensticker halted the vote. “I’ve got some serious concerns about this ordinance,” Seidensticker said.

Seidensticker protested the ordinance as “an effort to legislate common sense.” He explained the ordinance essentially forbids riding bicycles on sidewalks. He concluded “a 5-year-old on the Monon Trail who didn’t ring their bell as they passed somebody” could incur fines reaching $200. He also pointed out prevalent use of earbuds makes enforcing the use of bells useless.

“I’m all for education, etiquette and rules for safety,” Seidensticker said. “But stop signs can be enforced with current law.” He closed by encouraging “the council to parallel state code.”

“State statute,” pointed out Ron Carter, “is far behind (bike-friendly) communities across the state.” Carter personally invited Seidensticker to the next committee meeting to voice his concerns.

Rick Sharp agreed citizen suggestions highlighted the need for more discussion. Luci Snyder voiced the need for “adequate signage on the Monon.” She explained some citizens didn’t realize the law does not require traffic to stop at every juncture with the Monon. “Traffic slows,” she explained. “Traffic must carefully proceed.”

What’s next: The ordinance was tabled for further discussion with objections from Ron Carter. “Fellow council members should have communicated concerns regardless of being able to attend the (last) committee meeting,” he said. Carter scheduled the next committee meeting after confirming June 4 at 6 p.m. allowed Seidensticker’s attendance.

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