County OKs monthly payments to Society

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Although the Decatur County Board of Commissioners did not change its $40,000 budgeted allocation to the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, the board did approve making regular monthly payments to the Society Tuesday.
Under the plan, suggested in the form of a motion by Commissioner Frank Loeffler, the county will pay $3,333.33 (equivalent to 1/12 of $40,000) each month to the Society, from now until the end of the fiscal year in June 2012. At that time, the negotiation process will re-open for the next fiscal year.
Loeffler stated the agreement would provide regular cash flow to help the Humane Society run the shelter, which houses animals caught by the county’s animal control officers. Under the previous agreement, the county had paid the Society on a per-animal, per-day basis, with the money coming from that $40,000 budgeted allocation.
County Finance Director Carl Rowland stated that, since the start of this fiscal year in June, the county has paid the Society less than that $3,333.33 figure, each month. He said it was well within the constraints of the budget to earmark the regular payments.
The motion was approved by a 4-2 vote, with Commissioner Dr. Earl Perry and Vice Chairman Dr. C. T. Stafford voting against. Loeffler, Commissioners Russell Smith and Oliver Sellers and Chairman Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely voted in favor.
The issue was not originally on the posted agenda for the meeting, but County Administrator Tom Patton requested that it be added, at the start of Tuesday’s meeting. Perry was the only commissioner who voted against the item being added to the agenda, when it was stated in the form of a motion.
“I felt like we had already discussed this and the issue was settled,” he said, after Tuesday’s meeting.
During discussion prior to the 4-2 vote, Perry stated that working with the Humane Society had been difficult. He noted that the organization is subject to all open-records laws, because it receives a certain amount of public funding.
“We sought records concerning payroll information, from the Humane Society,” he said. “It took them two weeks to respond, and the information that we did receive did not answer the questions we had.”
Mosely said that the delay was possibly due to “extenuating circumstances” — specifically, a Humane Society’s secretary’s illness. He also suggested that both sides could have been more agreeable during the negotiations.
“Y’all antagonized them as much as they antagonized us,” he said.
Mosely also continued to emphasize that he does not feel the $40,000-a-year allocation is adequate.
“I have never felt that we do our fair share,” he said.