No-kill gathering

Animal welfare groups gathered in front of the Old Glynn County Courthouse prior to the County Commissioners meeting Thursday to rally in support of a no-kill resolution.

Taylor Cooper/The Brunswick News

The Glynn County Commission rejected a resolution to endorse the no-kill statement of rights and enter into negotiations with county animal welfare organizations to come to an agreement, despite a showing of public support and small rally held prior to the meeting.

Commissioner Bob Coleman, sponsor of the resolution, said it would not bind the county to anything other than sitting down and negotiating with the animal groups. County Attorney Aaron Mumford said that any agreement that came out of such negotiations would have to be approved separately, and could be denied if the commission wished.

However, commissioner Mike Browning took issue with having to endorse the tenets of the no-kill statement of rights, among other things. He felt that adhering to the 11 points would mean the county would have to relinquish some of their authority over Glynn County Animal Control, which commissioner Bob Coleman denied.

Lynn Stephens, vice president of No Kill Glynn County, has said they aren’t asking for any more money or control, just smarter spending of the money that is there and an adherence to no-kill principles.

Animal control is already doing much of what the no-kill statement requires, commissioner Mark Stambaugh said at the meeting. In response, one of the no-kill advocates in attendance stood and disagreed, saying that the groups are making a difference despite animal control.

Stambaugh said he was in favor of negotiating further, as it wouldn’t cause any harm, but he didn’t see the need to pass a resolution to start the process.

Ultimately, commissioners rejected the resolution 4-2, with one abstention.

In other business, Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Wiggins will see his pay increase from $72,190 to $84,120 and Finance Director Vicky McClinton will see her’s go up from $67,870 to $84,954.

Commissioners vigorously debated the topic, but not because of whether the employees were deserving. The dissenting voices, Coleman and Browning, never questioned whether or not Wiggins and McClinton deserved their raises. They were more concerned with the circumstances under which they were being given.

Coleman said the county’s policy on pay raises, especially when it comes to promotions, needs to be updated, and this was an example of why. According to county CFO Tonya Miller, who was requesting McClinton’s raise, county staff had requested the policy be changed to be more equitable, but the commission has so far not done anything about it.

Since the commission will be required to vote on the budget in June, and will have to discuss pay increases as part of financial policy, Browning said he wanted to wait until a new pay-raise policy could be instituted with the budget and then give Wiggins and McClinton their raises.

The commission approved the increases 5-2.

Commissioners also approved a resolution in support of County Manager Alan Ours in response to an advertisement that recently ran in The Brunswick News asking whether or not he should be fired. A request to extend an agreement with Sunset Slush was amended to allow the vendor to sell ice cream on the beach in addition to their other products.

The next scheduled meeting of the Glynn County Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 6 in the Old Glynn County Courthouse, 701 G St. in Brunswick.

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