October 5, 2006
CONTROL HOT TOPIC AT BOC MEETING
again Animal Control was on the agenda, and once again there
was lively discussion about it. Comm. Yarbrough read out
"58 hours overtime, 60 hours overtime," and determined we
just needed another Animal Control officer.
one on the BOC has yet addressed the issue of just what
the AC officer does with her time, but more importantly
WHO is supervising the
AC officer and verifying all these overtime hours?
As people have told TWG, and someone else said at the meeting,
there are complaints all the time from people that the AC
officer doesn't return telephone calls and doesn't respond
to their complaints. Many people have
seen the AC officer and Raymond Rogers, the Code Enforcement
officer, spend many hours either in the same vehicle or
following one another. It appears as if we have
two people doing AC already, yet there are high overtime
hours. How many complaints does the Commissioner's
and P&Z office receive? Does anyone keep track of that in
a log? If not, someone needs to be keeping up with the complaints
and find out if anyone ever followed up. (This is a solution
to a problem!)
anyone ever read or heard of the hours that citizens can
go to the AC shelter to pick up his or her pet? Or what
about adopting a pet before they are disposed of? How do
you know if your dog is at the AC shelter or not, when no
one returns your telephone calls? There are no hours posted
and no one can tell you when you might find staff at the
AC shelter. How do people retrieve their pets?
was indicated at the meeting that there was not enough room
at our new AC shelter for the 40 dogs that were recently
picked up, so they were all taken to Butts County. According
to an editorial in the Monticello News, when
a woman wanted to retrieve her dog and went to see Mr. Rogers
about it, he informed her if she came back on County property
she would be arrested and put in jail.
this how our county employees are allowed to treat citizens?
Since when can a citizen not go on County property? And
since when does Mr. Rogers have that authority? The BOC
was questioned about this on Monday at their meeting. Of
course, there were no answers, but the solution is to again
ask themselves WHO is this employee's supervisor
and why hasn't this been looked into? The Commissioners
should be embarrassed about what has gone on! Yet they look
at anyone that questions them with blank stares. One can
surely bet that if one of the Commissioner's pets was picked
up and he was treated this way something would be done.
But the citizens don't rate that high!
time Animal Control is on the agenda, it is not about what
you would think would be discussed-such as how many dogs
they picked up; how many calls they answered; how many dogs
were adopted. No nothing like that.
The only thing ever presented to the BOC is how
much money the county has spent on killing animals and why
we need our own crematorium. The story
is the same every time. You have to have 2 people to give
lethal injections to the dogs. We can do that here, but
there has to be 2 people that are certified. As a citizen
asked, "Why can't 2 people be at the same place at the same
time once a week? It's not like you are killing animals
3 times a day or something." She also stated, "They
can make it work if they want it to work." No truer words
have been spoken. The real question is how
much time is it going to take to drive to Butts County,
sit and wait for the animal to be euthanized or return and
go back, and then bring the animal back to be cremated?
The animal is first euthanized and then cremated to dispose
of the body. All this is now done in Butts County. If Jasper
gets a crematory will they also have 2 certified people
to euthanize the dogs? The costs and questions go on and
on, but are never presented in full to the BOC.
more about excuses as to why we need another employee,
rather than using employees that may not be doing anything
(such as 2 employees that have come back from leave but
have been replaced by others). Instead of sitting in an
office goofing off all day, they could be answering the
telephone and sitting at the AC shelter assisting people
that want to retrieve their dogs or look at one for adoption.
This is another solution to part of the problem! After 3
or 4 times discussing this over the past several months,
the County Manager has finally suggested a Public Works
employee would work so many hours a week at the AC shelter.
This is at least a start on the problem. If the BOC presses
him, the County Manager might be able to come up with more
ideas other than hiring more people.
latest report submitted to the BOC by the AC office stated
that the County has spent $11,840 to Butts County for storage
and doing away with animals since May 1. The AC officer
has received approximately $1150 of overtime since May 1.
The report was dated September 12. This means
that AC officer makes less than $300 per month in overtime;
yet all we hear about is how we can hire a part time person
and save money. Can the
county really hire someone part time and pay them less than
$300 per month? The report then goes
into the usual rhetoric of how serious our AC problem is
and why we need a crematory. This
is what every report submitted talks about-a crematory.
A crematory is obviously THE solution to all our AC problems
according to the AC supervisor and the County Manager in
reports given to the BOC during their meetings.
the meeting there were some statements made that seemed
unusual at the time.
Bernard made a statement that he "wants to support the AC
officer." He stated, "I don't want her to leave. She's doing
a good job." The reason this statement is unusual is because
rumor has been out for
over a week that the AC officer turned in her resignation
2 weeks ago and her last day will be this Friday.
Did Comm. Bernard know this when he made these statements?
The AC officer, Elizabeth Rolfe, has already resigned once,
been hired back, and threatened to resign again if she didn't
get land rezoned for her kennels. She didn't get the rezoning.
Sources tell us that Raymond Rogers says he won't take the
AC job. Why not? He's certainly been doing it all along
in recent months.
continuing talk is that people want animal control,
but they want someone who answers calls and takes
care of problems. Most people don't feel that
is being done. Many people feel the AC officer and her "supervisor"
Mr. Rogers spend time picking up any animal they see. The
County Manager and BOC don't think this is true. I was recently
called and told about the AC officer and Mr. Rogers driving
up a citizen's driveway, going to the back yard where their
dog was tied up, and looking around. The citizen asked what
they were doing, and she was told that they were just checking
to see if the dog had food and water. Is this proper? Was
there a complaint lodged or was this just a random act of
kindness by AC to check on the dog? Can
AC employees go on anyone's property at any time if there
is no complaint? This is the type of
activity people have a problem with-many see it as
trespassing on private property. All the while
people calling in with complaints are ignored.
BOC and the County Manager think that there are just a few
people that complain and they don't need to listen. If you
have had problems or know someone that does, a call needs
to be made to your commissioner. His number can be found
on our website at www.taxdogs.com/commissioners.htm.You
can also call the County Manager at 706-468-4900.
BOC has asked for all associated costs of a crematory so
they can make decision. They want specific numbers so they
can get an idea of what the cost really is and will be.
This is good and hopefully the correct numbers will be forthcoming.
Animal Control is necessary,
but so is supervision and proper handling of complaints.
It's up to the BOC to see that it happens.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.