Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CB council discusses how to deal with small law enforcement issues

Speeding, two-hour parking and dogs

By Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council will soon discuss some sore spots that seem to come up every summer: speeding in town; enforcing the two-hour parking limit on Elk Avenue; keeping dogs on leashes; and keeping the pooches’ poop picked up.

Councilman Paul Merck brought up the issues at the May 1 council meeting and asked chief marshal Mike Reily if he felt it would be good to fill the community service officer position that has been vacant for a couple of years.

Reily said his department was possibly seeing the need for another officer and felt his crew could handle the sore spots if the council wanted more focus on them.

“We may be getting to the point where we need an eighth officer,” said Reily. “We will look at all the options, including a public service officer. But, frankly, that is a tough position. You don’t get to do a lot of the fun stuff but you are always having to tell people to abide by the law. People get burnt out pretty quickly.”

“But we could be at a point the position is needed again,” said Merck.

“We are certainly open to considering it,” responded Reily, “and people can call us and ask us to deal with the issues. We won’t leave a gunfight or domestic conflict to enforce two-hour parking, but we can deal with the issues.”

“People don’t want to call 911 when they see a dog off a leash,” said Merck. “That’s why you might consider that position.”

Later in the meeting Merck said enforcing two-hour parking on Elk during the summer should be a priority, given the amount of vehicles on the town’s main street. The council touched briefly on possibly installing parking meters. They agreed any such discussion would need a lot more information in front of them.

Councilman Chris Ladoulis told the council that they should expect the usual barrage of complaints from locals about speeding in the summer.

“We can inform the marshals to strictly enforce the speed limits but will we back them up when they do?” asked mayor Glenn Michel.

The council asked the staff to schedule a work session to discuss the issues before the start of the very busy summer season.

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