Dog Control Officer Introduced At Fiscal Court, Judge Cannon Discusses Hiring Decision, Job Description
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Newly hired County Dog Control Officer Kenny Heath was introduced at today's fiscal court meeting as Judge Executive Wil Cannon discussed the hiring process for the position while asking magistrates to approve the hire, which also included a secondary officer, Devin Lindsey of Brownsville.
Heath was hired over a week ago, as announced in the Edmonson Voice and Cannon said that he recently found out that there were some magistrates that wanted to be included in the decision.
Cannon said he made the decision for the hire because it was a time-sensitive issue with the law requiring the county to have an officer and that calls for dogs could come in at any time; however, he said if magistrates want to be included in such decisions, he would allow it.
A question was asked about the pay of the officer and Cannon said it was $10 per hour for each officer; however, he clarified that this was not a salary position and that officers would only be paid for hours worked. He also said it was unlikely that both officers would be working at the same time.
Another question was asked as to why the sheriff's office will not be supervising the position. Cannon answered that he felt like the position didn't need to be confused as a deputy because they are completely different jobs, each having completely different authority.
Judge Cannon also clarified the duties of the dog officer, which included the picking up of abandoned or stray dogs when sent through county dispatch. The officer would only have authority to transport a dog to its owner or the BG/WC Animal Shelter, and nowhere else.
Cannon further stated that the county does not have the financial means for the officer to answer calls regarding cats, horses, or anything else other than dogs. He said that calls regarding the mistreatment of animals or emergencies, no matter what type of animal, would always be answered by local law enforcement.
Cannon asked for approval on the hire, to which Magistrate Mark Woosley asked, "If he's already been hired, why does it need the court approval?"
Judge Cannon replied, "Because if you don't, we'll do something completely different," insinuating that the new officers would've been fired.
Magistrates voted to approve the hire with the exception of Mag. Woosley who chose not to vote. Mag. Joe Durbin spoke on the issue and said he was in favor of magistrates having input on all county hires. Cannon said that moving forward, these types of decisions will be brought before fiscal court.
Later in the fiscal court meeting, Cannon clarified his decision making process as the county Judge Executive, which he said were based on what he called "army values."
"Integrity, honesty, loyalty, personal courage, amongst others," he said. "I live by these values and I've always tried to, and always will. I do make mistakes, I'm human. But, I promise you, I'll never use deviant political procedures to get things done on the agenda."
In addition to dog control officer, Judge Cannon said that Mr. Heath would also be utilized as an extra prisoner transport officer and will occasionally help with maintenance for county property and buildings.
If you have a request for the dog control officer, you are asked to call Edmonson County Dispatch at 270-597-2729.