Letter: Knee-jerk solution to Cumberland dog complaints

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The proposed leash law being considered by Cumberland that requires dogs to be on a leash on all public lands except for early morning and late evening seems an extreme answer to the recent complaints regarding off-leash dogs. What a sudden and drastic mandate from where we are now.

We look to our town leaders to navigate issues thoughtfully and to be creative in solving problems. There will always be people that stand on both sides of every issue. I encourage the Ordinance Committee and the Town Council to offer the public some thoughtful solutions to the dialogue instead of the simple one-size-fits-all solution that this expanded law suggests. For example, perhaps certain public lands are more compatible for walking dogs than others; perhaps more lenient hours could be suggested for less-used parks; or perhaps a trial period for a year could allow dog-walkers to work with the town to follow some suggested protocols that would help remedy the situation.

Every issue deserves thoughtful problem solving. Cumberland is a unique place that merits creative thinking to keep it special, and I hope we can continue in this vein by working harder for a compromise that will appease all constituents who enjoy our beautiful public lands.

Sarah Russell