July 13, 2015
Animal Control was not on the agenda; however, Salmon used “the budget” discussion to try to sneak in making cuts to Animal Control without allowing any citizen input.
At the 7/6/15 BOC meeting D4 Commissioner Craig Salmon changed the subject from approving the FY16 budget to discussing contracting out animal control and making derogatory remarks about Rescue Me GA, the rescue group that provides all types of assistance to the animals at Jasper County Animal Control.
Members of the audience who support animal control became vocal and were gaveled down three times. Watch this video starting at 1:25 to see Salmon’s comments on Animal Control and to avoid listening to him repeating what everyone else had already said.
Salmon starts making accusation about what he thinks and how things “look” to him, but he had not asked Rescue Me GA or the county staff anything –about how rescue worked, the expenses they incurred, or the time they put in. He just came up with his own assumptions. He implied RMG was taking fully vetted dogs from Animal Control and making money from the adoption fees. Since he didn’t ask, Salmon didn’t know or bring up the fact that RMG spent well over $100,000 in 2014 and is completely run by volunteers.
At 3:13 on the video a RMG volunteer tried to stop Salmon to correct what he is saying, but was gaveled down. Salmon says “they” (the BOC) need to look at Animal Control.
Salmon tries to make a motion about Animal Control while the budget adoption motion is already on the table. Comm. Trammell says he can’t. Animal Control was not on the agenda; however, Salmon used “the budget” discussion to sneak in trying to make cuts to Animal Control without allowing any citizen input.
At approximately 4:38 RMG tries again to speak to clear things up about what Salmon says “he thinks”. Trammell gavels them down again. Salmon continues and RMG again speaks out and says what Salmon is saying is very incorrect. Trammell loses his temper with RMG rather than stopping Salmon who is totally out of order and making unfounded accusations. (It is the Chairman’s job and/or the county attorney’s job as parliamentarian to keep the meeting in order.)
Comm. Pennamon finally interrupts to get BOC back on track and back on the budget adoption. After he does so, the other commissioners gain control of the meeting and the subject of the motion which was approval of the 2016 budget. Salmon is finally stopped.
We understand that people can’t just speak out in the meetings; however, it isn’t fair to gavel down people trying to defend their reputation when inaccuracies are being presented as truth. What other way can things like this be stopped if people don’t speak out?
Salmon implied that RMG was taking advantage of Jasper County at Animal Control. Wasn’t it RMG that got the money donated to improve and expand the Animal Control building? Aren’t they the ones that provide many animals with vet services they wouldn’t have and a variety of other supplies?
If Salmon is worried about anyone taking advantage of Animal Control, he and the BOC should look at themselves. They could have been and should have been more diligent in requiring reports on the money collected by Sherry Braley at Animal Control. How much food, medical attention, or supplies were denied the animals at Animal Control because of the lack of oversight of former Animal Control director, Sherry Braley, and the BOC’s lack of oversight of the former County Manager?
The discussion after the meeting indicates to us, that this is not a dead issue. Animal Control seems to be in Comm. Salmon’s sights.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.