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Wintroub addresses Tomahawk’s county commission meeting animal control story

Dear Editor,
Some corrections to Bonnie Davis Guy’s 4/27/16 article [https://www.thetomahawk.com/local-news/advocates-and-opposition-to-county-animal-control-speak-at-county-commission-meeting/]. “Many department heads were also present to answer any questions the committee may have regarding the quarterly reports”. I suspect she meant that the heads were present to answer questions the commission, not the committee, may have.

The speaker was Al Gryder, not Al Grader.

“Chairman Taylor reminded both gentlemen that the commission had met with them on Monday.” If that’s really what Taylor said, he spoke falsely. It was the Animal Control Committee, not the commission, that met on Monday 4/18/16. Rumor has it that 11 commissioners were either in the audience or at the table, but it was the committee, not the commission, that met with Gryder and the others in attendance. As for the allocation of time for citizens who made the effort to get themselves on the agenda: holding them to three minutes while allowing six minutes to someone who merely signed up for the public comments portion of the meeting seems patently unfair and capricious. More so in
view of time granted to Shipley for his politicking, which is not county or county commission business. But then, granting favored speakers time for non-county business is sort of local tradition. [See “Vote Yes on Amendment 1” anti-abortion lobbyist who was allowed to run on for half an hour back in 2014.]

Finally, a response to Arthur Fenner’s reported claim “it’s only a small percentage of people who either abandon, abuse or allow their animals to become a problem.” Neither Fenner nor I know what percentage of people are the problem and “small” is a matter of opinion, not fact. But arguing that the county needn’t spend money to enforce animal control laws because only a minority breaks those laws is a self-refuting argument. After all, only a minority speeds, litters, cooks meth, dumps toxic trash, writes bad checks; commits assault, domestic violence, child abuse, vandalism, burglary; drives while impaired; etc. Maybe I give Fenner too much credit, but I doubt that he advocates dismantling the police and courts and prisons on the grounds that “only a small percentage of people” break those laws. As always, I reserve the right to retract my comments to Fenner if the Tomahawk article got wrong what he said.

Terry Wintroub

Mountain City