Board authorized future action by dog officer if necessary
By Melissa Fales
WARE – At an Oct. 6 dog hearing regarding two aggressive dogs on Laurel Drive, Dog Officer Traci Brearley ascertained that the dogs’ owner has moved out of town and taken the dogs with him. However, Brearley asked the Board of Selectmen to grant her the authority to remove and, if necessary, destroy the dogs at the owner’s expense should he move back into town with them. “These dogs are a huge safety hazard,” Brearley told the board. “They have been terrorizing the neighborhood and impeding the quality of life for the residents.”
Brearley presented copies of letters from Laurel Drive residents complaining about a pit-bull named Queen and a corgi mix named Dora owned by Jason Lazarz of 20 Laurel Drive. In the letters, neighbors allege that the dogs would sometimes bark continuously all day long. They detailed incidents where the dogs were loose, wandering the neighborhood threatening residents and other dogs. One resident wrote that the situation with the dogs “has completely gotten out of control” and suggested it was only a matter of time until the dogs seriously injured someone.
According to Brearley, the dogs had taken over the whole neighborhood to the point where children could not play outside for fear of the animals. She noted each time she was summoned to Laurel Drive with complaints about the dogs either excessively barking or running loose. Often, Lazarz was not at home and the responsibility of caring for the dogs fell to Maria Delrosario, also of 20 Laurel Drive. Brearley spoke to Delrosario and explained that even though she did not own the dogs, as their caretaker, she would be held accountable for the dogs’ actions. On one occasion when Brearley did speak to Lazarz, he indicated he would likely be leaving the area and/or getting rid of Queen.
Lazarz did not attend the hearing. Delrosario was present and told Brearley Lazarz is no longer living with her on Laurel Drive. She said she believes he has moved to Monson and taken Queen, Dora, and Dora’s five puppies with him.
Selectwoman Melissa D. Weise asked what would happen if Lazarz and the dogs return to Ware at some point in the future. According to Brearley, this is a real concern as Lazarz changes his address frequently and has lived at at least two other locations in Ware with the dogs in the past. Brearley suggested that if Lazarz and the dogs return, the only safe option would be to have the dogs removed from the town. She asked the selectmen for permission to do so and presented copies of the town by-law stating the board can grant her the authority to restrain or dispose of dogs as necessary. She said Queen would have to be euthanized because she is too aggressive to be placed in a new home. The board unanimously voted that should Lazarz return to town with Queen and Dora, the dog officer has the right to remove the dogs and dispose of them at Lazarz’s expense.
Brearley also noted she has issued 4 citations regarding the dogs for infractions including failure to vaccinate, failure to license, violation of the leash law, running at large, and having a vicious or barking dog. To date none have been paid. She told Delrosario that she is named on two of the citations, totaling $425. If those fines are not paid within 21 days, Brearley warned Delrosario she will be taken to court.
WARE TOWN HALL NOTEBOOK
Vote to accept sewer line tabled
Due to lingering contractual issues between W/S Development Company and the town, the board’s vote to accept the Lowe’s sewer line expansion was tabled once again. At the Oct. 6 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Interim Town Manager Mary Tzambazakis said attorneys are still working on securing an easement for the town for a portion of the line on W/S Development property. Once all of the legal issues are resolved, residents will have to vote to accept the easement at Town Meeting.
Intergovernmental agreement with Hardwick a no-go
Tzambazakis announced that the proposed intergovernmental agreement to share a wastewater treatment plant operator with the town of Hardwick will not take place. She said Hardwick declined to sign the amended agreement she proposed which made the two towns equally financially responsible for the position. Selectman John A. Desmond said he thought the initial proposal favored Hardwick and offered kudos to Tzambazakis “for making sure the town is well-represented.” Tzambazakis said the town will soon be advertising for the position.
Robbie’s Place public hearing postponed
A scheduled public hearing regarding an alleged violation of the entertainment license at Robbie’s Place, 80 Pulaski Street, was postponed until a later date, yet to be determined.
Selectmen outline goals for the year
The selectmen reviewed a master list of their goals for the year, synthesizing the suggestions of the individual board members. Chairman Nancy J. Talbot suggested the board choose a few to focus on. The board agreed with Selectman William R. Braman’s assertion that developing a comprehensive master plan for the town was a major priority and their top goal. Acknowledging that it would be an expense, Selectwoman Melissa D. Weise said the town should hire an outside mediator to oversee the master plan process. “The rest of us are too close to the mountain,” she said. At Weise’s suggestion, the board agreed that finding a solution for Nenameseck Square that maintains its cultural and historical significance while ensuring the safety of the town’s residents would be a possible first step in their work on the master plan.
The board’s other goals are to focus on the town’s fiscal year 2011 budget and to review and begin implementing the 33 recommendations that came out of the recent audit by the Department of Revenue. Talbot suggested that work on the goals be regularly listed on meeting agendas, so as to keep the board on task.
Town Hall to be used for Christmas decoration prep, Holiday Flair in Ware
The board approved the use of the Town Hall’s Great Hall for Christmas decoration prep and for visits with Santa during Holiday Flair in Ware. Holiday Decorating Committee member Peter Harder said some 75 Christmas trees and other decorations need some overhauling before they can be displayed. Work on the decorations will take place over the course of a few weeks. He also asked for permission to use the municipal bucket truck to hang the decorations around town.
Holiday Flair in Ware Committee member Sue LaBarge said Holiday Flair in Ware will be held on the evening of Nov. 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving. She said Santa’s spot in Veterans’ Park last year “was cold and crowded” and suggested putting Santa in the Great Hall, where children would be warmer while they waited for their turn to sit on his lap.
Talbot raised the question of liability should someone get hurt or property get damaged during these two activities. Braman said since the Holiday Decorating Committee is appointed by the board and Holiday Flair in Ware is a town event, both activities would be covered under the town’s insurance policy. The board voted to approve the use of the Town Hall for both activities and to waive the fee in both cases.
Ware Community Television now has streaming video
Braman announced an additional service now offered by Ware Community Television. Select archived programs of town events, including selectmen’s meetings, school committee meetings and Ware High School football games, are now available for viewing online by visiting http://www.waretv.org and clicking on “streaming video.”