The Mayor says it was never intended to make life difficult for the operators.
Frederick, Md (KM). The City of Frederick does not want life difficult for the Lambert family, which operate horse drawn carriages in downtown Frederick. That’s according to Mayor Michael O’Connor, who addressed that issue during a recent appearance on “The Morning News Express With Bob Miller” on WFMD.
“It was never the intention of the city to make it more difficult for the Lamberts to do what they do,” he said. “I appreciate what the carriage rides have brought to the holidays in downtown Frederick.,
The ordinance which is generating controversy was passed by the Board of Aldermen in April. It sets up regulations for carriage ride operators which are enforced by the Frederick Police Department.
One section of the ordinance requires that carriage operators not allow a horse to work for more than two hours before receiving a 30-minute break. Donald Lambert says this regulation is too limiting. Mayor O’Connor says it was intended to protect the horses’ welfare. “There was a lot of focus on the health and care of the horses,: he said. “And so we spent a lot of time having a debate about making sure because that was where the noise was coming from. The horse was coming from the horses being mistreated. So we wanted to assure everyone that that’s not happening.”
He also said the issue about resting the horses every two hours didn’t come up during the debate over this ordinance. “That ordinance was passed by the Board of Aldermen in April. There was substantial public comment. A lot of individuals were there in support of the Lamberts, and the Lamberts’ operation.. The Lamberts were there. They all testified ,:” the Mayor said. “They all testified. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that the changes city were making were good ones.”
With this part of the ordinance in affect, Donald Lambert says his family may stop the downtown Frederick carriage rides during the holiday period this year. The Mayor hopes that doesn’t happen.
The City is expected to revisit this ordinance sometime in the future. “It’s really kind of unfortunate that all of this has transpired because the time we were adopting the ordinance, had we known that this was the piece that was going to get all the focus, we could have done more at the time to define some of this terminology,” Mayor O’Connor says. “That’s what we’re going to go back and do here very shortly.”
That issue is on the agenda for the Board of Aldermen meeting on Thursday evening, October 3rd beginning at 7:00.
By Kevin McManus