Nipping at Her Heels | Bethesda Magazine
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Nipping at Her Heels

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In late summer, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell found himself in President Donald Trump’s doghouse over interest rate policy, Powell’s wife, Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers Chair Elissa Leonard, was being barked at—by humans and canines alike—in another controversy that garnered national attention. Almost a year earlier, the tony municipality had spent $134,000 to turn a piece of land long utilized by dog owners into a fenced-in area where canines could run off-leash. Soon, amid complaints from some neighbors, signs mandating “No Excessive Barking” appeared—never mind the limited reading abilities of park denizens. Last summer, the board sought to assuage complainants with a series of moves—going so far as to pay $1,300 for a study of dog behavior in the park—but to no avail. When supporters crowded into a Chevy Chase board meeting in September with hats bearing the command of “Sit. Stay. Save the Chevy Chase Dog Park,” Leonard and a majority of colleagues on the board refused to be hounded. “It’s not meeting the standards that I would want in an off-leash park in the village,” she declared, joining the majority in a 5-2 vote to shut down what had briefly been the “Brookville Road Park Dog Exercise Area.”

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