Springfield, MO

Petitioners submit sufficient signatures to suspend pit bull ban

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Springfield City Clerk Anita Cotter yesterday certified a petition led by residents who disagree with council’s decision last month to ban pit bulls within city limits.

The clerk’s office verified 2,269 before stopping the certification process; the number of signatures needed was 2,228, according to a news release. Council approved the ban during its Oct. 2 meeting by a 5-4 vote. Council members Craig Hosmer, Richard Ollis, Mike Schilling and Kristi Fulnecky voted in opposition of the bill prohibiting the possession of new pit bull dogs. The legislation was slated to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Now that the petition has been certified, the ban’s enactment has been suspended and council has 30 days to either repeal the ordinance or send the issue to ballot for a vote of the people. It is anticipated council will hold public comments on the pit bull ban issue at its Nov. 27 meeting, with final action to be taken at the Dec. 11 meeting.

Successful petitions to repeal council actions are relatively rare, though Cotter was unable to provide the amount of times the action has occurred in recent years by deadline.

The city’s sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance known as SOGI garnered national attention in 2012 and came back for review in 2014 as a result of petitioners, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

In 2015, the debate came to a head when residents voted to repeal the expanded nondiscrimination ordinance for the LGBT community in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.


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