Caton nominated as commission chairman

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Allen Caton was nominated on Monday night for a third year in a row to serve as the Chilton County Commission Chairman.

Commissioners held the annual nomination process at the beginning of their regularly scheduled commission meeting.

County attorney John Hollis Jackson led the first portion of the nomination process by asking commissioners to nominate individuals for the position of chairman.

Commissioner Joseph Parnell nominated Caton to serve as the chairman with no other nominations.

It was a unanimous vote for Caton to serve as the chairman, which he has done since 2012.

Former commissioner Tim Mims had served as commission chairman for four years and stepped down from the position in 2012 after nominating Caton for the job.

Caton has since held the title each year since being nominated by Mims in 2012.

Caton took over the nomination process to elect a vice chairman with commissioner Greg Moore nominating Joe Headley.

It was a unanimous vote for Headley to serve as the vice chairman.

During the public comments section of the meeting, commissioners heard from Doris Guin, a resident who lives on County Road 770 in the Oak Grove Community.

Guin addressed commissioners standing alongside her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Rodney Glass with a detailed and often chilling account of how she has struggled with a pack of dogs near her home.

Guin’s main objective for approaching the commission was to ask if they would consider adopting a portion of the code of Alabama 1975 pertaining to dogs running at large.

“It was mid-January 2013 when this dog nightmare really began for me,” Guin said.

Guin told about being confronted by a pack of dogs “jumping, barking and showing their teeth” to her.

The dogs belonged to a neighbor who was later approached by Guin about keeping them contained on the owner’s property.

Through a series of events throughout the course of a year, Guin’s dog was attacked by the dogs, but later survived. However, the family’s 70-pound-lab owned by Rodney and Susan Glass was later mauled and killed by the pack of dogs.

“That dog was like a child to us,” Susan Glass told commissioners. “It could have easily been a child.”

Guin showed images of the lab after it had been attacked and killed by the neighbor’s dogs and pleaded with commissioners to help fix the problem.

“Chilton County is a wonderful place to live. Each resident deserves the same protection of the law, whether it is in the city limits or not,” Guin said.

Caton told commissioners he had received a call from Guin and asked her to come and speak at the commission meeting to convey her story.

“I know most everyone on the commission has a dog,” Caton said. “This particular dog has been mutilated, and it is hard to look at. I would like to have some discussion from commissioners.”

Commissioner Shannon Welch said from a commission’s standpoint, it was difficult to adopt a code without the ability to enforce it.

“I am in full support of this act, and I think we need to get with our current sheriff and our sheriff-elect and work out something to go ahead and get something established,” Welch said.

Commissioners introduced a motion to allow attorney Jackson to draft a resolution with the entire code to be introduced for possible passage at the Nov. 24 commission meeting.

Commissioner Heedy Hayes expressed concern for passing the resolution without a guarantee from the sheriff or sheriff-elect that the code would be enforced.

“It doesn’t do us any good to sit up here and pass something if the sheriff is not going to enforce it,” Hayes said. “God forbid if it was a child, but there are some things we have to work out before we can just jump into this thing.”

Agee said he would like the commission to work with the current sheriff and the sheriff-elect to try and get the problem resolved.

Everyone voted in favor of the motion.

In other news, the commission:

•Voted to advertise for a full-time position for a driver for the Chilton County Transit Authority.

County administrator Connie Powell clarified that the position would be replacing a full-time driver who left.

Everyone voted in favor of the motion.

•Voted to give $1,000 to the Chilton County Humane Society to bring the shelter’s building up to code before inspection.

•Heard from Welch regarding upcoming trips with Chilton County officials to various cities in Alabama being closed to the public. Welch said in an effort to accommodate the amount of people meeting with county and city officials at upcoming stops such as Cullman and Greenville, the trips were solely limited to county and city officials.

•Scheduled a work session for Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. to discuss the county’s personnel and policies manual.

•Granted the old metal detector at the courthouse be declared as surplus.

•Voted to appropriate the funds necessary for the county’s portion of the Chilton County Humane Society’s incinerator.