Oddo on animal shelter: Process has just begun


Let’s focus on what actually happened on July 13 and understand what will come.

Efficient governing is a function of communication and consensus building. The commissioners have the individual responsibility to act together to create an atmosphere that fosters positive results. Acting unilaterally often results in the discord and friction witnessed on July 13.

The uproar that followed that evening’s vote on the revised animal control policy by the Board of Commissioners was unnecessary and avoidable, and left many in the room feeling understandably let down. It directly resulted from lack of good communication and consensus on the board. Let me be clear: good communication has a starting point, a middle point, and an end point.

In my four plus years serving on the Board of Commissioners I am not aware of any ordinance that has been initiated outside the Board of Commissioners, nor legal expenses incurred without commissioners’ knowledge, consent, and input. As a group, the commissioners start the process, add to the process, and eventually decide the result.

What did happen on July 13? The board approved amending the policy then in effect that governed euthanasia. The new policy of 30 days replaces the old policy of 6 days. The new policy adds two public notifications at 6 days and 21 days of adoptable animals and animals at risk, an improvement over the old policy. In addition, the board approved spending nearly $120,000 to upgrade the facility.

A separate issue that was combined into the vote on the policy concerned a complete ordinance rewrite of the county’s animal control code. Four commissioners had issues, three of whom expressed them in emails of April 3, 2017. My comment at that time was: ”I believe the appropriate time to incur the expense of rewriting an ordinance would be after the board has directed such.”

Because the complete ordinance rewrite was moving forward despite the concerns raised by a majority of the board, the only option available was to publicly address the issue with a vote. A majority of four commissioners voted to approve the revised euthanasia policy while formally halting the rewrite of the county’s animal control code.

Let’s focus on what actually happened [July 13]. The issue was PROCESS, not merit of ideas. The former was corrected. The latter will still be considered. The BOC meeting July 13 should be considered a starting point.

Charles W. Oddo

District 5 Commissioner, at large

Fayetteville, Ga.