Bryant wants to ‘clarify’ animal control policy

The city-county Animal Control Department’s hours are posted outside the facility. KATHRYN JONES/GR Reporter

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

A Glen Rose City Council agenda item to discuss and possibly take action on changing the hours and work schedules of employees who handle animal control was tabled Monday evening because the wording was wrong.

As the Glen Rose Current first reported in October, Bryant was unhappy that he could not get a city animal control employee to remove a dead cat after he called on a Saturday.

Bryant told the Current he wanted to move the city forward to “seven-day compliance” when it came to removing dead animals from city streets and to make sure that rules and regulations were followed.

Mayor Pro Tem Bob Stricklin added the item to the agenda, but Bryant said there was some “confusion” because he wanted the council to address the wording of the policy about animal control employees’ ability to remove dead animals after regular business hours, including weekends.  The current policy is that animal control will not respond on over-time calls except in emergencies.

Bryant said he wanted the city staff to “clarify and give a little more detail” about what defines an emergency situation.

“The policy says right now that they may be dispatched for injured animals and not dead animals except for ‘extenuating circumstances,’” Bryant said. “That is the part that needs to be clarified and has caused some confusion.”

“We can get some clarification on that,” City Administrator Ken West told him.

The item was tabled until next month’s regular city council meeting.

During the October dead cat incident, Bryant called the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office — whose dispatchers receive animal control calls after regular hours — and asked that an animal control employee come remove a cat that had been run over. Then he called back to say that the animal had died and he wanted animal control to remove it.

The dispatcher advised him = that it was against the policy of the Animal Control Department to remove dead animals on weekends —  employees are on call to respond to emergencies only because working on weekends qualifies as over-time. According to a copy of the recording obtained by the Current, Bryant told the dispatcher that the animal control employee on call “would” respond because he was a city councilman.

The animal control employee on call, Cathrine Peck, also spoke with Bryant and repeated the policy that she wasn’t authorized to respond to such requests to pick up dead animals on weekends.

In a complaint Peck filed against Bryant for alleged “bullying,” she said he used phrases such as, “Are you refusing a council member?” and “Well, Cat, this is not going to look good come Monday morning.”

Peck further said in the complaint she hoped it would “lead to an eye opener for all as to how he (Bryant) has tried to bully his way around to get what he wants and even goes to the point of using his position in council that he sees it is okay for him to get special privileges.”

After the Current posted copies of the sheriff’s dispatcher report and recordings of the phone calls to the dispatcher on this website, Bryant contacted Mayor Pro Tem Bob Stricklin to seek to resolve the matter. He and Peck reached an agreement to resolve the dispute and she withdrew her grievance from the agenda of a special city council meeting.

“We all need to read our Code of Conduct and understand how we are to interact with each other and the city staff, and our actions are not outside of our authority,” Stricklin said in the statement he read at the meeting. “Our only ability to change any rule or procedure of law is as a collective group, not as an individual.”

Bryant denied “bullying” Peck and said he was just trying to look out for taxpayers.

“The city’s tax dollars should be utilized in the best way possible,” he said.

 

One Response to Bryant wants to ‘clarify’ animal control policy

  1. Jack Reply

    December 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Sounds like Mr. Bryant needs a shovel and a trash bag. He would’ve saved thousands of taxpayers dollars from discussing this Mickey Mouse crap.

    Must be a republican….

    Good job, GRC.

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