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(Right to left) Yogi, Pepe and Buddy lounge in the shade after playing around at the Joslyn Park dog park on Tuesday afternoon. (photo by Brandon Wise)

JOSLYN PARK — Former Mayor Herb Katz was more than just a public servant and an architect. He also loved dogs.

On Thursday, city officials will dedicate the off-leash dog area at Joslyn Park in honor of Katz, who died in January 2009 after a long bout with cancer. He was 78.

Katz, who served on many boards and commissions, including the Planning Commission and the Architectural Review Board, was known to visit the park almost daily with his dogs, where he would let them run while he engaged in conversation with other animal lovers.

“Herb loved his community and his dogs,” said Mayor Richard Bloom. “Herb loved that dog parks allowed people to socialize while their dogs romped around. The parks provided Herb with an avenue to chat with folks in a way that transcends politics. He would be very pleased to know that he is being remembered in this way.”

Katz was a strong advocate for creating a small dog area within Joslyn Park, as well as championing a high level of maintenance and improved amenities, city officials said. Following his passing, the community expressed overwhelming support for dedication of the dog park in his honor.

“Herb loved his dogs and got great pleasure taking them to the dog park, But most of all, it was getting to know the people that were exercising their dogs there,” said Councilmember Bob Holbrook. “I would have never guessed that years ago when I was a paperboy at what was then the Joslyn Estate that one day a dog park on the site would be dedicated to my dear friend Herb Katz.”

The dedication celebration will be held on May 5, at 9 a.m. at Joslyn Park. Brief remarks will be followed by music and light refreshments. The public is welcome to attend. Parking in the area is limited. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike or carpool.

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