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November 8, 2006

ANIMAL CONTROL COMMITTEE APPOINTED

During the BOC meeting Monday, Animal Control was an issue of concern for Comm. Johnson. He said there has been controversy about Animal Control for quite a while. He wanted to put people on a committee that had been most vocal about Animal Control. He thought these people would be the best ones to get together and come up with some good ideas as they had voiced concerns about the problems with Animal Control. He said he would be the liaison between committee and the BOC. He asked that Shelba Jean Morrison from Jasper Humane Society, Kathy Mudd with the Monticello News, Susan Kelly who owns a kennel, Mary Patrick with the TWG, and Kathy Thomason a concerned citizen and dog breeder serve on this committee. He wanted to go ahead and get started now and get some things resolved. Comm. Johnson made a motion to nominate these people. Comm. Hill 2nd. There was discussion with Comm. Bernard and Comm. Pennamon both agreeing to go ahead and let these get started and up to 4 others could also serve. Comm. Johnson amended his motion to appoint 5 ladies and up to 4 others that are willing to participate, and injected that the Committee had no authority to handle operations—only to recommend to BOC. The vote was 4-0-1 with Comm. Yarbrough abstaining stating, “I’ve had enough of this dog and pony show.”

Before this presentation by Comm. Johnson, David Dammann spoke during the Agenda Comments. He informed the other commissioners that Comm. Bernard had asked him to look into animal control. Sources tell TWG that Mr. Dammann contacted the Humane Society and wanted them to put volunteers on their liability insurance to cover people working at the Animal Control Shelter that the County policy wouldn’t cover. Hopefully, the Animal Control committee will have better solutions and develop some plans and procedures for Animal Control in Jasper County.

After this discussion, the CM told everyone, “ We have a new Animal Control officer--Amber Castleman. She’s from Newton County with 7 years experience.” He stated they are also looking for a Crewman from PWD to help at the shelter on weekends.

During discussion of the budget, the Animal Control shelter cost was discussed.
Citizens were told more than once in the past that USDA-Rural Development would give Jasper County a grant for approximately $45,000 or ½ the cost of the shelter. This grant has never materialized. The City obtains USDA grants on a regular basis with at least 3 in the last few months—2 different times for City police cars and just this past week another $99,000 for the Farmers Market on the Square. What is the reason that the County can not obtain a small grant for $45,000 for an Animal Shelter that serves the entire county? We have no answers, only questions.

An interesting note--We’ve heard over and over how much overtime is spent on Animal Control. It was brought up at the end of the meeting that Raymond Rogers (Code Enforcement /Animal Control employee) sat through the entire 3 hour commissioners meeting. The Commissioners were asked if he would be paid overtime for the week while being able to sit through the meeting for no apparent reason. No answers were given. Chris Anderson, P&Z director and Mr. Rogers’ supervisor, also sat through the entire meeting.

Taxpayers are paying for these people to work and to get their jobs done; not to sit through meetings where they have no part of the meeting. Come on, Commissioners, it’s time we got 40 hours work for 40 hours pay from ALL those who receive a county paycheck!

TWG
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