Panel named to consider animal control issue
by By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Sep 17, 2013 | 1084 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A Bradley County Animal Control committee will determine the long-term solution for service outside the city limits.

County Commissioners Ed Elkins, J. Adam Lowe, Charlotte Peak-Jones, Bill Winters and Mark Hall were appointed to the committee.

The committee will consider proposals from SPCA of Bradley County and the Ark of Cleveland. The possible options were received by the county as part of a formal request for proposals.

Both organizations follow “no-kill” policies. Both are also offering 24-hour emergency response service in addition to animal shelter services.

In its proposal, SPCA of Bradley County proposes leasing property on Johnson Boulevard adjacent to the Bradley County Juvenile Court facility. The Ark of Cleveland proposal mentions leasing county property but does not list a location.

The Ark of Cleveland is requesting an annual contribution of $240,000 to provide the service in addition to a one-time donation to renovate the county-owned building. The SPCA of Bradley County is requesting donations of $40,000 for renovation of a county-owned building; $20,000 to cover April, May and June of 2014; and an $80,000 donation requested for each following fiscal year.

“I think with the proposals you are doing it the way it should be done, and the people who really care about this issue are the ones who will be taking care of the issue,” Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis told the Commission.

Fifth District Commissioner Jeff Yarber said he had received a petition with 35 names stating the petitioners did not want an animal shelter on Johnson Boulevard. Yarber said he does not want to see the county start its own animal shelter.

“I hope we can have some community dialogue on this or hold a community forum before we put this thing to bed,” said 3rd District Commissioner Jeff Morelock.

The committee’s first meeting is expected to be Wednesday at noon in the mayor’s conference room.

Also during the meeting:

- Commissioners expressed concerns about the Common Core State Standards. The education committee will meet with representatives from Bradley County Schools to discuss concerns.

First District commissioner Terry Caywood said he was concerned about the testing aspects of the standards.

He said a recent test under Common Core standards for a fourth-grade student was 12 pages long.

“There are going to be hearings tomorrow in Nashville,” Caywood said. “It (Common Core) is causing an uproar among teachers.”

Yarber said he had concerns about the cost of implementing the standards and the required electronic testing. The Commission should express its reluctance about Common Core to the Legislature, Yarber said.

“I’m not as versed in Common Core as I would like to be,” Yarber said.

Lowe said the Tennessee General Assembly has not voted for or against the standards as the legislatures in some other states have.

“My understanding is that there is legislation on the rise to not have Tennessee participate in anything Common Core,” Lowe said.

Elkins said standardized testing is important for letting school systems know how their students measure up.

“A lot of the other things going on with Common Core, I do not support,” Elkins said.

- Elkins presented concerns about repairs to erosion controls on the South interchange for the Spring Creek Industrial park.

A more permanent fix, in the form of concrete ditches, will be installed in the next two days.

“Let’s just hope we don’t get any significant rainfall before that’s done,” Elkins said. “ I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.”

- Sixth District Commissioner Bill Ledford was presented with a certificate from the Tennessee County Commissioners Association recognizing him for 42 years as a county commissioner.