Greenway rules never allowed ‘ride’em cowboys’

By LARRY C. BOWERS Banner Staff Writer
Posted 1/24/17

Cleveland City Council members had anticipated discussion of horses on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway issue Monday, which developed during the previous week. But, the issue was apparently …

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Greenway rules never allowed ‘ride’em cowboys’

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Cleveland City Council members had anticipated discussion of horses on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway issue Monday, which developed during the previous week. But, the issue was apparently resolved before it got out of the gate.

Three horsemen, from out of town, had ridden their mounts along Cleveland city streets the previous weekend, and had then veered onto the Greenway. They left a mess from their animals along the way.

A number of complaints were fielded by members of the Greenway Board, the City Council, city staff, and it has been reported the three riders were even confronted by enraged Greenway users. The three apparently refused requests to clean up the horses’ droppings along well-used areas of the Greenway,

The Greenway Board met last Thursday, but made no recommendation to the City Council. Councilman Bill Estes is a member of the Greenway Board, Councilman Tom Cassada attended the meeting, and City Manager Joe Fivas was also in attendance.

Greenway Board Chairman Cameron Fisher attended Monday’s Council meeting, and was pleased to learn there is a resolution.

Councilman Richard Banks brought up the issue briefly during Monday’s work session, but he was quickly informed there is already a law on the city books regarding horses.

Cassada had resourced city ordinance No. 2010-21, which lists park and property rules, regulations and definitions. In additional to parks, it points out that these rules include the Greenway through the corporate limits of the city of Cleveland.

The ordinance emphasizes, “No person shall ride a horse or pony on, over or through any park or portion of a park designated by signage as being restricted from such activities.”

Parks and Recreation Director Patti Pettit, her staff, city officials and Greenway Board members were apparently unaware this regulation was in place.

Pettit said the only thing her department has to do is post this rule along the Greenway, to officially deny horses (or ponies) access to the walkway — which caters to walkers, joggers and cyclists of all ages.

The Greenway, and its availability, are extremely popular with various groups and organizations in and around Cleveland. A big factor in last week’s controversy was the safety of people using the Greenway, especially children, in addition to the mess the horses left behind.

The arrogance of the horseback riders, in apparently refusing to clean up the horse droppings, was also a factor which elevated the seriousness and extent of the complaints.

Once it was understood by Council members Monday that a regulation on horses was already in place in city ordinances, the Council moved on to other issues without discussion.

Pettit and her department will be moving forward to post this rule that horses (or ponies) are not allowed on the Greenway. This will guarantee the rule can be enforced, and penalties levied.

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