Woman fights city hall over lost dog signs

April 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM
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NEWARK, Ohio, April 8 (UPI) -- A Newark, Ohio, woman who battled City Hall over posting signs for her missing dog is fighting to change the city's signage ordinance to help other pet owners.

The City Council's safety committee is to take up the issue Monday, the Advocate Reporter in Newark reported.

Jody Gardner is leading the effort to change Newark's sign policy after an ordeal that started when her dog, an Afghan named Flower, disappeared Dec. 28.

At that time, Gardner put up signs about her missing dog. City officials said the flyers were posted illegally because she did not get the proper permitting.

"She never really had a permit," said City Engineer Brian Morehead. "We started getting complaints from people seeing them all over the place. Nobody has inundated the town like she has."

The signs were subsequently removed. Officials in the central Ohio city of about 47,500 said it offered Gardner the option of putting the signs back up, permitted as promotional signage, which would require Gardner to turn in a list of locations and approval from property owners.

"I think we've been more than lenient with her," Mayor Jeff Hall said. "She did not have a permit, and we did not go out and yank them right away."

Now, Gardner, whose signs were put up again in mid-March, said she intends to work to get the ordinance changed.

"I think that ordinance needs to be updated for missing people or missing pets," she said.

Service Director David Rhodes said the safety committee would be open to such changes.

"We'll see what council proposes," Rhodes said. "We would not be opposed to those types of changes."

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