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Deer Creek Council under fire for enforcement

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Two Deer Creek residents said the Deer Creek City Council and law enforcement were singling them out in enforcement of nuisance and dog ordinances.

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Todd DeFoe, who attended Monday's regular council meeting, said complaints about his property were petty and possibly discriminatory.

"I think things are getting a little ridiculous about some of these complaints around here," DeFoe said. "We moved to this small town where people help people, not complain and moan and groan or sneak down the alley and take pictures of your garage because it doesn't meet your standards. Really? I'm very disappointed. You guys should all be ashamed of yourselves."

DeFoe also said he did not have time to work on his property lately due to a family emergency.

Mayor Julie Brunko said that as city officials, their job is to work for the people of the city by acting on concerns.

Brunko also said she personally offered to help, but DeFoe said he didn't recall that.

DeFoe also brought the subject of nationality into the conversation.

"Hey, I'm Norwegian. What do you got against that?" Council Member Mary Lee Weaver joked.

"Nothing, what do you got against Natives?" DeFoe asked.

After DeFoe left, Council Member Brenda Lee said the city should be careful to enforce cleanup ordinances across the board, or they could find themselves accused of singling people out. She also said she did not know previously what DeFoe's nationality was.

Michael Baumann Butler, asked why he should have to pay for a dog license when other people in town have unlicensed dogs.

Council Member Jim Hill said they can only respond to complaints.

New York Mills Police Chief Jim Van Schaick agreed, saying authorities can't just knock on every door to check on dogs.

"Why does the law exist?" Butler asked. "Seventy-five percent of the people in this town do not have their dog licensed. I can almost for sure say that."

Van Schaick said the city could deal with the nuisance and property cleanup issues through a civil process involving the city attorney.

Brunko added that the city will check into its options.

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