Even before a Caddo Parish district court judge makes a final ruling on the future of a proposed dog park in Shreveport, attorneys for Mayor Cedric Glover have turned to an appeals court for help. And it turns out, it's the judge who urged those attorneys to do so.
"The original petition to start a dog park in Shreveport came out at the beginning of 2007," reflected Cynthia Keith. She's the Director of the Dog Park Alliance. But now six and a half years later, the issue of that dog park makes its way through the court system.
Back in May, Caddo District Judge Leon Emanuel ordered Mayor Glover to sign an agreement with the Red River Waterway Commission that would allow the city to accept $280,000 dollars in commission funds to build the dog park at Hamel Memorial Park along the Red River.
"We feel we're on the right side of the law. And that's why we're pursuing this. And basically, it doesn't come down to a dog park or no dog park, you know. The court case is about the mayor doing his job," said Keith.
The judge's order is exactly what a Shreveport City Council resolution also directed Mayor Glover to do, over-riding his veto of the dog park.
Mayor Glover's lead attorney on the dog park case, Ronald Lattier, did not return our calls for comment regarding this latest court filing. But in a Motion for Stay before the Second Circuit Court of Appeal, it states the dog park agreement was quote, "not within the city's best interests" and later states quote, "the mayor is of the opinion that he has discretion as the executive officer chosen by the citizens of the city of Shreveport relative to matters of this nature."
It was Judge Emanuel who filed a communication with the court, urging Glover's attorneys to file that appeal because quote, "this court is not inclined to grant a stay."
If or when Mayor Glover ever signs on the bottom line, Cynthia Keith tells us, everything is ready to turn that five acre portion in the northern part of Hamel Park into a great dog park. "It's perfect, you know. All we're waiting on is a signature. It's been funded. It's ready to go."
If the appeals court does not stop the process, Judge Emanuel has offered either August 22 or 28 for the next hearing, where he could make a ruling.
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