Dangerous dog bill ready for legislature

Published 5:22 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Allen Caton was named chairman of the Chilton County Commission for the sixth consecutive year during a meeting on Nov. 13.

Caton won by a vote of 4-0, which included three abstains, while Jimmie Hardee was named the new vice chairman, narrowly edging out Matt Mims 4-3.

Commissioner Joseph Parnell had held the vice chairman position for the past year.

Once the positions were settled, the commission approved a resolution for provision of a dangerous dog bill to be published in the newspaper for four weeks.

After it has been published the required amount of time, it will be presented by Rep. Jimmy Martin to the state legislature.

If the legislature approves it, the bill will be placed on the ballot in November 2018 for the people to vote on.

“This is a vote by the people, we’re just giving them the opportunity,” Commissioner Matt Mims said.

The bill has been in the works for weeks after Jimmie Hardee initially proposed it, and it was modified and finalized by County Attorney Fletcher Green.

According to Green, the bill is not a leash law, but focuses on the control and maintaining of animals.

If the bill clears each of the steps and is approved and voted on, serious injury or damage to property by dogs could lead to fines or even criminal charges for the owners by the Sheriff’s Department.

The bill would only be in effect for the unincorporated areas of the county and not any of municipalities.

The commission also approved Sheriff John Shearon’s request to change Gerald Mims, Shane Mayfield, Kenneth Harmon and Trae Barfield from salary to hourly employees.

According to Shearon, overtime does not currently go into effect until an officer has worked more than 86 hours during a two-week span.

“We’ve done our best to keep our budget under wraps,” Shearon said. “I’m tired of them not getting paid for the time away from their families.”

Commissioner Steve Langston stressed the importance of working on keeping the personnel that the Sheriff’s department currently has.

In other news from the meeting:

  • County engineer Tony Wearren reported that the County Road 822 bridge has been completed, and cleanup and road repair is under way. It took seven hours to complete the project.
  • Construction has started on County Road 2 Bridge, which is the last RAMP bridge.
  • Drawings for the County Road 81 resurface have been completed and sent to Montgomery.
  • Design and drawings are underway for County Road 51 resurfacing.
  • A resolution was passed for the road department to advertise and hire a truck driver.
  • The commission approved a resolution to reclassify Tracey Ramsey from temporary part-time to part-time in the appraisal office. It does not include a change in salary or benefits at this time.
  • The commission approved for advertisement and hire of a new employee in the motor vehicle department.
  • Park and Recreation director Gerald Arrington announced that Minooka Park received a $10,000 grant from CAWACO, which was approved by the commission.
  • The commission opened nominations for the Clanton Library Board and approved the library’s request to appoint Willie Mae White.
  • The commission accepted the resignation of Erika Cooper.