Bradley Commissioners Bemoan SPCA Turmoil

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
- photo by Hollie Webb

Retiring Bradley County Commissioner Connie Wilson said Monday night about the recent SPCA issues, "Twelve years I've served on the County Commission and we have never put as much time and energy into one subject."

Also not returning, Vice Chairman Adam Lowe said, "We've spent all of 15 minutes on a study to address homelessness."

He said one person even told him they would "step over a homeless person to save an animal because that animal can't speak for themselves."

 Vice Chairman Lowe said, "That's where we part ways."

 He said out of his district, he received zero calls at any time before or after the contract with the SPCA pertaining to animal control.

 Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones, who resigned from the SPCA board after a tumultuous meeting last week, said, "I want to take this time to apologize for not serving the SPCA board to the best of my ability."

 She said, "I hope the current board will bring some stability...I cannot in good conscience, however, say I think it will work out."

 She continued, "I'm exhausted and I wash my hands."

 She also said, "The SPCA can be a great thing if we end the conflict of interest." She said that Betti Gravelle working as both the president of the board and being involved in the day-to-day operations of the shelter is a conflict.

 Commissioner Peak-Jones said, "I say we give it back to the former director who knows how to run a shelter." Former director Bobbi Anderson was terminated from her position in the same meeting from which Commissioner Peak-Jones resigned.

 Commissioner Jeff Yarber described Betti Gravelle as "the person at the root of the whole problem."

 He said, "There have been several breaches of contract...It's imploding and it's getting ready to explode even more."

 Commissioner Mark Hall, the only commissioner still on the SPCA board, said of Ms. Anderson's termination, "Just for the record I will never, ever, ever fire someone in a group of 80 people...The only thing that was more disrespectful than firing her was not allowing her to speak."

 During the SPCA meeting, Ms. Anderson requested repeatedly to speak before the board but Ms. Gravelle would not let her.

 Commissioner Hall also said of the attention the SPCA has been given, "I wish we had the same enthusiasm for finding foster homes for our children."

 He told the commission he would not resign from the SPCA board.

 At the end of the commission meeting, Ms. Gravelle addressed the audience and said the SPCA is currently performing correctly and is no longer in breach of contract.

 New director Jordan Williams said, "Our intake has doubled since we've been open intake every day, but our adoption rate has tripled."

 He said currently 25 dogs and 26 cats are in the shelter.






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