Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Yarber has asked the governing body to request the county attorney review the animal control shelter contract between the county and the SPCA.
Yarber wants the request to be placed on the Commission’s agenda for the Aug. 4 session.
Yarber’s comments came during the Commission’s work session shortly after the SPCA board of directors’ emergency meeting Monday evening.
Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones first reported to the full Commission on the SPCA meeting held just prior to the Commission’s meeting and the agreement by which for the next 30 days shelter director Bobbi Anderson would continue to run the shelter. SPCA president Betti Gravelle will organize members of Cleveland for a No Kill City to implement the model she developed for the shelter’s operations.
“We are going to try the model Betti Gravelle brought to the Commission for SPCA,” Peak-Jones said. “I guess it never got implemented with so many different directors.”
She said Anderson does “a super job” and she had brought the concerns “that we are going to address in 30 days.”
Peak-Jones said she had never seen so many groups “that butt heads or everybody wants control of something.”
“Whatever the board says, the director will follow. She does a great job at everything she’s been doing,” she said. “This is no fault of her own that the facility is overcrowded. Some of it has been brought on them I think on purpose, to see if they can handle it.”
Yarber said it seemed to him the SPCA board “didn’t do anything but postpone the inevitable.”
He said board members praised one director as “the next greatest thing and then all of a sudden he’s gone.”
“And then, Bobbi came in, who seems to be very good and I’ve heard high praise about her, but she’s not doing things the way one or two directors want her to and now they’re wanting to get rid of her because she’s not [doing what they want].”
He said the move by the SPCA board seems to make Gravelle “a proxy director.”
“It seems to me the one positive thing is we have somebody [Anderson] over there who truly cares and is concerned,” he said. “I appreciate anybody who actually speaks up and says what she feels about the problems. It seems here they tried to cut her today because she spoke up. I’m glad you gave her 30 more days.”
Yarber said he was prepared to put the item on next week’s agenda.
“If we can show the county attorney there has been a violation or breach [of contract], we can go back and renegotiate the contract with the city,” he said.
He said the situation has been continuously imploding “and it’s about to be an explosion.”
Yarber said he wanted to explore having a temporary contract with the city and “come back and try to do the thing the right way.”
Peak-Jones said she would not support that “because of Bobbi Anderson’s efforts at that facility.”
“She’s endured a lot of slander. She’s endured a lot of backbiting and long hours to make this successful. I still want to give it 30 days and I’ll guarantee you it will turn around,” she said.
Yarber said if one vote on the SPCA board changes, “She’s gone and we’re back to the drawing board.
“It’s going to get worse. You just gave two individuals who aren’t getting along what ... seems to be the same amount of power,” Yarber said.
“You told the chairman of the board she can do what she wants to under the direction of the director, and you told the director she has to allow the chairman to do what she wants to.”
Other commissioners also commented on the subject.
Commissioner Terry Caywood, talking about the limited space said, “You just can’t put 10 pounds of flour in a 5-pound bag.”
Commissioner Ed Elkins offered, “The group that has an interest in no kill also has a responsibility to be able to provide a quicker turnover of the animals — get them out of there and find a home for them without euthanizing them.”
Commissioner Jeff Morelock stated, “I just hope it works out. They seem to have a temporary plan in place. They’re trying hard, I believe.”