LEAGUE CITY — Voters on League City’s website overwhelmingly support plans for the city to build a dog park. Whether the online poll truly reflects the wishes of city residents is debatable.
As of the weekend more than 86 percent of those who participated in the simple online poll say they think the city should build a $200,000 dog park on land next to the new police station-public safety building. The poll does not indicate how many people have cast votes.
While they come in various shapes and sizes, dog parks are often fenced areas that allow dog owners to let their canines run free without a leash and interact with other dogs.
The new online poll was launched after Councilman Andy Mann gave new life to the proposal. Council looked into building a dog park four years ago, but killed the idea when a parks priority survey ranked a dog park at No. 22 of 25 top priorities.
Mann said he was encouraged by the results of the latest poll, even though it’s not scientific.
“I can’t remember the last time we asked for public input on anything, whether it was scientific or unscientific,” Mann said. “This is something the citizens apparently want. As long as I am (on council) I am going to continue to explore it.”
Funding for the construction would come from the city’s dedicated park fund, which cannot be used for projects other than park enhancements or construction, Mann said.
City spokeswoman Kristi Wyatt said the city was unable to determine how many people who took part in the poll actually live in the city. She also did not know how many people had voted since the poll was launched last week.
There’s also no way to determine if people used different computers to vote more than once.
In the city online poll, 86.3 percent said “yes,” 11.7 percent said “no,” while 2.1 percent cast a “maybe” vote.
The city’s poll reflects similar results to an online poll The Daily News posted on April 10. In the Daily News poll, 84 percent of those who participated voted in favor of the city building a dog park.
The Daily News’ poll drew responses from across the county and not just League City residents.
While it is not clear if he voted in the city’s poll, count Councilman Dan Becker as one of the 11.7 percent opposed. On the night Mann pitched the dog park proposal, Becker vowed to oppose its construction.
Becker did not respond to The Daily News about the results of the online poll.
Mann said he isn’t concerned about opposition.
“It comes down to what the citizens are willing to do,” Mann said. “I’m only one vote (on council) and will try to work with staff to develop (the park plan).
“I will say this, of the people (on council) who are opposed, almost all of them asked for more information and we are going to provide them with more information so they can make an informed choice. “
Wyatt the city is developing a more detailed survey that would include the dog park and other possible projects to determine how much favor there is among city residents.
Still, interest is high, even from those not in the city.
Fred Swerdlin, the president of BARK9, a pro-dog park advocacy group in Houston, pledged his group’s support to help the city design the park.
The group assisted in the construction of a 5.3-acre dog park in Pasadena five years ago and offered to help League City before council sent the idea to the doghouse four years ago.
He said his group is ready to assist again.
Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or email@example.com.
Bark for a Park?
League City online poll
Should League City construct a $200,000 dog park?
Yes: 86.3 percent
No: 11.7 percent
Maybe: 2.1 percent
*As of Sunday afternoon
Daily News online poll
Yes: 84.2 percent
No: 15.8 percent