Although no votes were taken on the final outcome, the Walton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward on both of the hot button issues that were on the County agenda this month – consideration of the tethering ban on dogs and the decision to reinstate impact fees on construction.
There was an outburst of applause from animal advocates in attendance when the commissioners voted unanimously to have the county attorney get with Animal Control Director Bill Wise to draw up an ordinance that includes a no tethering amendment for consideration by the commissioners. It will be presented in May for a public hearing before commissioners vote on it.
“This is for our review? Walton County Commissioner Kirkland Dixon asked. “We want to make sure to make that clear.”
Animal advocates, including members of Unchain Walton and ETC (End the Cycle), broke out in applause when the vote was taken. Animal advocates have been petitioning the county to make advances in amending the ordinance to include a no tethering ban for several years. Those in attendance noted afterward that they were “hopeful” that the county is finally headed in the right direction with this step. They also are hoping for an “outright” ban on chaining dogs since partial bans with nuances such as “unattended” or “unsupervised” make enforcement very difficult.
Commissioners also voted to proceed with a public hearing next month on the reinstatement of impact fees after advice from the county attorney. It would then come up for a final vote in June.
Commissioners once again retired to an executive session on “personnel matters,” at the end of the meeting, but returned after a short time to adjoin the meeting after announcing that no action would be taken.