Dogs on Ithaca Commons? City still chasing its tail

first_img Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzi Of course, dogs are already on the Commons in violation of city code. Cornish said landscapers have repeatedly raised issues about dog waste in flower beds, and all commissioners agreed enforcement of the existing ban is minimal.The Ithaca Police Department received 112 dog-related complaints between January 2018 and February 2019 in the City of Ithaca, 13 of which were reported on the Ithaca Commons. Eleven of those complaints referred to off-leash or unattended dogs on the Commons and the two other complaints were related to leaving dogs in cars.Commissioner Mike Comella said his takeaway from speaking with officials in Burlington about dog regulations during his research was that Ithaca should relax.“I think we need to relax a little bit about the cleanliness,” he said, “sidewalks are dirty.” He said he looked into regulations in Alexandria, Virginia, and found that store owners typically clean the sidewalk when dog owners are negligent.Related: Ithaca police put the leash on Riley the Outdoor Store dogGary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, said he polled business owners along the Commons a few months ago and found a majority are welcoming to pups. He said the ban doesn’t create a big problem for tourists because of lax enforcement, but can be frustrating.“Most visitors have no knowledge of dogs not being allowed, so typically visitors don’t have a problem,” he said, but he added, “if they bring their dog and someone says something, that’s uncomfortable.”Ferguson said the DIA does not have a formal position on the city rule but is eager for clarity either way.Jackson said whether the city continues to prohibit dogs or not, changes will need to be made to ensure public awareness and compliance with regulations. “We’re going to have to spend money to make signage better and to be more consistent in enforcement,” she said, “or to make sure spaces are clean.”With more people and dogs set to move onto the Commons as new apartment buildings open, the issue is only getting more pressing. Any changes, though, are still a long way off. In December the City Administration Committee asked the commission to recommend changes to the dog policy, but Jackson said Monday that the commission only plans to pass along research. They are due to send deliverables to the committee by September, so for the summer, Ithaca’s downtown dogs will remain outlaws. center_img ITHACA, N.Y. – In Burlington, Vermont, shopkeepers set out water bowls along the pedestrian-only section of Church Street. In Charlottesville, Virginia, downtown restaurants host doggy dining specials. In Ithaca, canines enter the Commons at their own risk, with a prohibition on pets on the books since the 1970s.According to the city’s Public Safety and Information Commission, Ithaca is out of step with peer cities when it comes to dog-friendliness. Common Council last voted to uphold a ban on dogs on the Commons in 2015 and is not planning to reconsider it in the immediate future. However, they have tasked the Public Safety and Information Commission, an unelected body of volunteers, with looking into alternative policies. At their Monday, April 1 meeting, commissioners expressed ambivalence.Aryeal Jackson, who chairs the commission, said as far as she knows Ithaca is the only small city to ban dogs on its downtown pedestrian mall other than Boulder, Colorado. The culture around pets has changed, Jackson said, noting that many local hotels allow dogs and tourists often choose to travel to Ithaca with their pets.Nevertheless, she and other commissioners acknowledged the concerns about safety, cleanliness and nuisances that led Common Council to uphold the ban in 2015. Citing the costly renovation of the Commons, they said the city would have to spend money on cleaning and maintenance to prevent dog waste from degrading planters and paving stones.Related: Should Ithaca allow dogs on the Commons? City revisits questionJoAnn Cornish, director of planning and development, said during a presentation to the commission this week that dogs on the Commons have been debated for as long as she’s been in the city.“I think it’s worth considering having one place in the City of Ithaca where dogs aren’t allowed,” Cornish said, but she added, “I could be persuaded the other way too.”Cornish said she’s a dog lover who takes her dogs everywhere she can, but also pointed out that the Commons was not designed to accommodate dogs. There are no waste clean up stations or green patches for dogs to use, and to protect the paving surface she said a person would need to hose down dog urine nightly. Tagged: City Administration Committee, dogs on commons, downtown ithaca alliance, public safety and information commission Devon Magliozzi Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from:last_img read more

Aviva Investors slapped with FCA fine over conflicts of interest

first_imgAviva Investors has been fined £17.6m (€24m) after failing to manage conflicts of interest within its fixed income team, after evidence of ‘cherry picking’ trades for more lucrative fee arrangements was discovered in 2013.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) charged the asset manager after the UK watchdog found it in breach of two of its Principles for Businesses.Between 2005 and 2013, Aviva Investors, the investment arm of UK insurer Aviva, managed certain fixed income strategies side-by-side, resulting in funds that paid differing fee levels being managed by the same desk.Because a proportion of the fees were paid to traders in the fixed income team, traders were incentivised to favour one fund over another – using internal processes to delay certain trades for several hours before allocating favourable price movements to one fund, and non-favourable to others. Aviva Investors discovered two fixed income traders had been conducting the ‘cherry picking’ process in May 2013 and addressed eight impacted fixed income funds with £132m of compensation.In additional to internal compensation for the affected funds, the regulator fined the asset manager £17.6m for failing to take “reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively”.FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou said Aviva Investors’ failings were serious, but the regulator recognised the “exceptional” reaction of the manager during the investigation.Aviva Investors was offered a 30% discount on its fine by settling with the regulator in the first stage of investigation.“This case serves as an important reminder to firms of the importance of managing conflicts of interest effectively by implementing a robust control environment with effective systems to manage the risks,” Philippou added.Euan Munro, chief executive at Aviva Invetsors, said the issued within the manager had been fixed.“We have improved our systems and controls, and ensured no customers have been disadvantaged and also made substantial changes to the management team,” he added.The FCA said Aviva Invetsors had operated a ‘three lines of defence’ model of risk management, and that conflicts of interest would have been avoided had it operated effectively.“Its failure to implement robust systems and controls in this area where there were clear conflicts of interest led to an unacceptable risk these weaknesses could be exploited for personal gain,” the FCA said.The regulator did praise the manager, however, calling its response “exceptionally open and cooperative”, and said its compensation procedure to the eight affected funds was prompt.The asset managed breached Principle 3 (management and control) and Principle 8 (conflicts of interest) of the FCA’s Principles for Businesses and related Rules.Munro was announced as the asset manager’s new chief executive in July 2013 after a period of instability in the management structure. He started his new role in Janaury last year.Parent firm Aviva has emphasised a need for improving revenue from the subsidiary with its 3% contribution, described as “inadequate” by chief executive Mark Wilson.The asset manager’s prospects have been raised by Aviva’s proposed merger with fellow UK insurer Friends Life.last_img read more